Volume 3, Issue 10 (November 2006)
Investigation into the Effects of Materials and Mixing Procedures on Air Void Characteristics of Fresh Concrete Using Air Void Analyzer (AVA)
The air void analyzer (AVA) was used to investigate the effects of concrete materials and mixing procedures on air void characteristics of fresh concrete. Twenty-seven batches of concrete were made with three mix proportions (with and without Class C fly ash or water reducer), and they were mixed with five mixing procedures (one-step mixing for 1, 2, or 4 min, two-step mixing for 4 min and ASTM C 192 lab mixing procedures) and two sizes of pan mixers (0.014 and 0.042 m3 or 0.5 and 1.5 ft3). The air content, size distribution, specific surface, and spacing factor of all the batch mixtures were examined. The results indicated that incorporating 15 % Class C fly ash replacement or recommended dosage of a lignin-based water reducer into concrete generally reduced the spacing factor of air voids. The two-step mixing method (mixing mortar for 2 min first, and then mixing the mortar with coarse aggregate for another 2 min) produced a lower air void spacing factor than the one-step, 4-min mixing method (mixing all concrete materials together at once). For concrete mixed with the one-step mixing method, the air void spacing factor reduced with mixing time. For a given concrete mixture and mixing procedure, use of different sizes of mixers provided the mixtures with different air content and different spacing factor. The air void characteristics of the corresponding fresh and hardened concrete were also examined using the Type B pressure meter and RapidAir test methods, respectively. The correlations between the results from AVA, Type B pressure meter, and RapidAir tests were studied.