Improved Specifications for Hydraulic Cement Concrete: Final Report

Report No: 83-R36

Published in 1983

About the report:

This is the final report of a study of the application of statistical concepts to specifications for hydraulic cement concrete as used in highway facilities. It reviews the general problems associated with the application of statistical techniques to hydraulic cement concrete, and discusses the potential advantages and disadvantages to applying such techniques to concrete used in the construction of transportation facilities. During the course of the research reported here, it was found that for the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation, contracts for concrete structures generally involved small volumes of concrete, and that the usual frequency of sampling and testing did not provide sufficient test results for establishing specifications based on usually recommended risks to both the contractor and the state. Increases in the frequency of testing to provide the recommended risks would result in excessive increases in costs. Accordingly, procedures for acceptance of concrete on the basis of small-to-medium sample sizes at increased statistical risks, but based on sound engineering judgment, were developed and are included in the report. Also included are complete recommendations for a revised specification for hydraulic cement concrete and a discussion of the statistical significance of the recommended changes. Recommended revisions to the Virginia Test Manual and the Instructions to concrete inspectors that would be needed should the revised specification be accepted are included in the appendices. Also included as an appendix is a resume of practices and requirements in other states using statistical concepts in their specifications for hydraulic cement concrete.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Woodrow J. Halstead

Last updated: January 18, 2024

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