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Whether used in buildings, bridges, pavements, or any other of its numerous areas of service, concrete must have strength, the ability to resist force. The forces to be resisted may result from applied loads, from the weight of the concrete itself, or, more commonly, from a combination of these. Therefore, the strength of concrete is taken as an important index of its general quality. Hence, tests to determine strength are the most common type made to evaluate the properties of hardened concrete, because (a) the strength of concrete, in compression, tension, shear, or a combination of these, has in most cases a direct influence on the load-carrying capacity of both plain and reinforced structures; (b) of all the properties of hardened concrete, those concerning strength usually can be determined most easily; and (c) by means of correlations with other more complicated tests, the results of strength tests can be used as a qualitiative indication of other important properties of hardened concrete .
Professor, University of Maryland, College Park,