ASTM C42 / C42M - 13

    Standard Test Method for Obtaining and Testing Drilled Cores and Sawed Beams of Concrete

    Active Standard ASTM C42 / C42M | Developed by Subcommittee: C09.61

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.02


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    Significance and Use

    3.1 This test method provides standardized procedures for obtaining and testing specimens to determine the compressive, splitting tensile, and flexural strength of in-place concrete.

    3.2 Generally, test specimens are obtained when doubt exists about the in-place concrete quality due either to low strength test results during construction or signs of distress in the structure. Another use of this method is to provide strength information on older structures.

    3.3 Concrete strength is affected by the location of the concrete in a structural element, with the concrete at the bottom tending to be stronger than the concrete at the top. Core strength is also affected by core orientation relative to the horizontal plane of the concrete as placed, with strength tending to be lower when measured parallel to the horizontal plane.3 These factors shall be considered in planning the locations for obtaining concrete samples and in comparing strength test results.

    3.4 The strength of concrete measured by tests of cores is affected by the amount and distribution of moisture in the specimen at the time of test. There is no standard procedure to condition a specimen that will ensure that, at the time of test, it will be in the identical moisture condition as concrete in the structure. The moisture conditioning procedures in this test method are intended to provide reproducible moisture conditions that minimize within-laboratory and between-laboratory variations and to reduce the effects of moisture introduced during specimen preparation.

    3.5 The measured compressive strength of a core will generally be less than that of a corresponding properly molded and cured standard cylinder tested at the same age. For a given concrete, however, there is no unique relationship between the strengths of these two types of specimens (see Note 3). The relationship is affected by many factors such as the strength level of the concrete, the in-place temperature and moisture histories, the degree of consolidation, batch-to-batch variability, the strength-gain characteristics of the concrete, the condition of the coring apparatus, and the care used in removing cores.

    Note 3A procedure is available for estimating the equivalent cylinder strength from a measured core strength.4
    Note 4In the absence of core strength requirements of an applicable building code or of other contractual or legal documents that may govern the project, the specifier of tests should establish in the project specifications the acceptance criteria for core strengths. An example of acceptance criteria for core strength is provided in ACI 318,5 which are used to evaluate cores taken to investigate low strength test results of standard-cured cylinder during construction. According to ACI 318, the concrete represented by the cores is considered structurally adequate if the average strength of three cores is at least 85 % of the specified strength and no single core strength is less than 75 % of the specified strength.

    3.6 The “specifier of the tests” referenced in this test method is the individual responsible for analysis or review and acceptance of core test results.

    Note 5For investigation of low strength test results, ACI 318 defines the specifier of the tests as the licensed design professional.

    3.7 The apparent compressive strength of concrete as measured by a core is affected by the length-diameter ratio (L/D) of the core as tested and this must be considered in preparing core specimens and evaluating test results.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers obtaining, preparing, and testing cores drilled from concrete for length or compressive strength or splitting tensile strength determinations. This test method is not applicable to cores from shotcrete.

    Note 1Test Method C1604/C1604M is applicable for obtaining, preparing, and testing cores from shotcrete.
    Note 2Appendix X1 provides recommendations for obtaining and testing sawed beams for flexural performance.

    1.2 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard.

    1.3 The text of this standard references notes and footnotes that provide explanatory material. These notes and footnotes (excluding those in tables and figures) shall not be considered as requirements of the standard.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    C39/C39M Test Method for Compressive Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens

    C78/C78M Test Method for Flexural Strength of Concrete (Using Simple Beam with Third-Point Loading)

    C174/C174M Test Method for Measuring Thickness of Concrete Elements Using Drilled Concrete Cores

    C496/C496M Test Method for Splitting Tensile Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens

    C617/C617M Practice for Capping Cylindrical Concrete Specimens

    C642 Test Method for Density, Absorption, and Voids in Hardened Concrete

    C670 Practice for Preparing Precision and Bias Statements for Test Methods for Construction Materials

    C823/C823M Practice for Examination and Sampling of Hardened Concrete in Constructions

    C1231/C1231M Practice for Use of Unbonded Caps in Determination of Compressive Strength of Hardened Concrete Cylinders

    C1542/C1542M Test Method for Measuring Length of Concrete Cores

    C1604/C1604M Test Method for Obtaining and Testing Drilled Cores of Shotcrete


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.100.30 (Concrete and concrete products)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 30111500(Concrete and mortars)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/C0042_C0042M-13

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM C42 / C42M-13, Standard Test Method for Obtaining and Testing Drilled Cores and Sawed Beams of Concrete, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2013, www.astm.org

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