Materials Engineer, Roorkee
Concrete mix design is the process of choosing suitable ingredient of concrete and determining their relative quantities with the object of producing as economically as possible concrete of certain minimum properties, notable workability, strength and durability. It should be explained that an exact determination of mix proportions by means of table or computer data is generally not possible. The materials used are essentially variable and many of their properties cannot be assessed truly quantitatively. A Laboratory trial mix does not provide the final answer even when the moisture condition of aggregates are taken into account. Only a mix made and used on the site can guarantee that all properties of the concrete are satisfactory in every detail for the particular job in hand. In fact mix selection requires a knowledge of the properties of concrete and experimental data, and above all the experience of the expert who conduct the mix design. The selection of mix proportions is an art as much as a science. It is not enough to select a suitable concrete mix; it is also necessary to ensure a proper execution of all the operation involved in concreting. It cannot be stated too strongly that, competently used, concrete is a very successful construction material but, in the literal service of the word, concrete is not fool proof. The mix proportions once chosen, cannot expected to remain entirely immutable because the properties of the ingredients (cement, sand, aggregate, water and admixture) may vary from time to time.