Properties of Hardened Concrete

Fully cured, hardened concrete must be strong enough to withstand the structural and service loads which will be applied to it and must be durable enough to withstand the environmental exposure for which it is designed. If concrete is made with high-quality materials and is properly proportioned, mixed, handled, placed and finished, it will be the strongest and durable building material. Below are the properties of hardened concrete:-

·        Strength
·        Creep
·        Durability
·        Shrinkage
·        Modulus of Elasticity
·        Water Tightness

When we refer to concrete strength, we generally talk about compressive strength of concrete. Because, concrete is strong in compression but relatively weak in tension and bending. Concrete compressive strength is measured in pounds per square inch (psi). Compressive strength mostly depends upon amount and type of cement used in concrete mix. It is also affected by the water-cement ratio, mixing method, placing and curing.
Concrete tensile strength ranges from 7% to 12% of compressive strength. Both tensile strength and bending strength can be increased by adding reinforcement.

Deformation of concrete structure under sustained load is defined as concrete creep. Long term pressure or stress on concrete can make it change shape. This deformation usually occurs in the direction the force is applied.

Durability might be defined as the ability to maintain satisfactory performance over and extended service life. The design service life of most buildings is often 30 years, although buildings often last 50 to 100 years. Most concrete buildings are demolished due to obsolescence rather than deterioration.
Different concretes require different degrees of durability depending on the exposure environment and properties desired. Appropriate concrete ingredients, mix proportions, finishes and curing practices can be adjusted on the basis of required durability of concrete.

Shrinkage is the volume decrease of concrete caused by drying and chemical changes. In another word, the reduction of volume for the setting and hardening of concrete is defined as shrinkage.

Modulus of Elasticity:
The modulus of Elasticity of concrete depends on the Modulus of Elasticity 0f the concrete ingredients and their mix proportions. As per ACI code, the modulus of Elasticity to be calculated using following equation:
                   E­­c = 33ωc­­­­1.5√fc   (psi)
            Where, ωc = unit weight of concrete, lb/ft2
          fc = 28 days compressive strength of concrete
For normal weight concrete (90 lb/ft3 to 160 lb/ft3), we assume that formula
                   E­­c = 57000√fc
Water tightness:
Another property of concrete is water tightness. Sometime, it’s called impermeability of concrete. Water tightness of concrete is directly related to the durability of concrete. The lesser the permeability, the more the durability of concrete. Now the question is, what is the permeability of concrete?
In simple word, the capability of penetrating outer media into concrete is the permeability of concrete. Outer media means water, chemicals, sulphates, etc.