OJCE  Vol.7 No.1 , March 2017
Influence of Constituent Materials Properties on the Compressive Strength of in Situ Concrete in Kenya
The poor quality of Kenyan in situ concrete has necessitated research to establish the properties of the ingredient materials and their influence on the troubling rate of failure of reinforced concrete structures in the country during construction and usage. The compressive strength of concrete relies on the properties of the constituent materials, proportions of the mixture, workmanship, compaction method and curing conditions. This paper outlines findings of an experimental investigation on the properties of Kenyan concrete ingredient materials and their influence on the compressive strength of concrete in Kenya. Three types of cements (42.5N, 32.5R, 32.5N) from six different cement manufacturers and fine aggregates from three different regions in the country were used during the study. Cements and aggregates chemical analysis was done using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer machine while the physical and the mechanical properties were checked based on the British Standards. The British DOE concrete mix design method was used to generate the concrete mix proportion and concrete was tested for early and ultimate compressive strengths at 7, 14 and 28 days. It was observed that the different cement brands have varying properties with CEM A having the highest ultimate compressive and flexural strengths. It was further noted that aggregates from the coastal region produced concrete of higher compressive strengths. When the commonly used mix design method was adopted, blended Portland cements produced concrete with ultimate compressive strengths lower than the designed target strengths. The study therefore recommends the development of a concrete mix design procedure for blended cement concrete production in Kenya.
Cite this paper: Okumu, V. , Shitote, S. , Oyawa, W. (2017) Influence of Constituent Materials Properties on the Compressive Strength of in Situ Concrete in Kenya. Open Journal of Civil Engineering, 7, 63-81. doi: 10.4236/ojce.2017.71004.

[1]   Koteng, D.O. (2013) Concrete Use for Sustainable Development. The 20th Engineers International Conference, Kisumu, 8-10 May 2013, 1-19.

[2]   Okumu, V.A., Oyawa, W.O. and Shitote, S.M. (2016) The Effect of the Properties of Constituent Materials on the Quality of Concrete in Kenya. Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Conference on Sustainable Research and Innovation, Nairobi, 4-6 May 2016, 225-230.

[3]   Shaibu, R.A., Mutuku, R.N. and Nyomboi, T. (2014) Strength Properties of Sugarcane Bagasse Ash Laterised Concrete. International Journal of Civil and Environmetal Research, 1, 110-121.

[4]   Lynne, L. (2005) Concrete Vaulted Construction in Imperial Rome Innovations in Context. Cambridge University Press, London.

[5]   Wegian, F.M. (2010) Effects of Seawater for Mixing and Curing on Structural Concrete. The IES Journal Part A: Civil & Structural Engineering, 3, 235-243.

[6]   Kumbhar, P.D. and Murnal, P.B. (2012) Assessment of Suitability of Existing Mix Design Methods of Normal Concrete for Designing High Performance Concrete. International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering, 3, 158-167.

[7]   Marthoga, C. (2015) Effects of PET Fibre Arrangement and Dimensions on Mechanical Properties of Concrete. The IES Journal Part A: Civil & Structural Engineering, 8, 111-120.

[8]   Ngugi, H.N., Mutuku, R.N. and Gariy, Z.A. (2014) Effects of Sand Quality on Compressive Strength of Concrete: A Case of Nairobi County and Its Environs, Kenya. Open Journal of Civil Engineering, 4, 255-273.

[9]   Maciulaitis, R., Vaiciene, M. and Zurauskiene, R. (2009) The Effects of Concrete Composition and Aggregates Properties on Performance of Concrete. Journal of Civil Engineering and Management, 15, 317-324.

[10]   Ahmad, S. (2007) Optimum Concrete Mixture Design Using Locally Available Ingredients. The Arabian Journal of Science and Engineering, 31, 27-33.

[11]   Oyawa, W.O., Githimba, N.K and Mang’urio, G.N. (2016) Structural Response of Composite Concrete Filled Plastic Tubes in Compression. Steel and Composite Structures, 21, 589-604.

[12]   Adewole, K.K., Ajagbe, W.O. and Arasi, I.A. (2015) Determination of Appropriate Mix Ratios for Concrete Grades Using Nigerian Cements. Leonardo Electronic Journal of Practices and Technologies, 26, 79-88.

[13]   Kiattikomol, K., Jaturapitakkul, C. and Tangpagasit, J. (2000) Effect of Insoluble Residue on Properties of Portland Cement. Cement and Concrete Research, 30, 1209-1214.

[14]   Mohamed, M.J. (2013) Effect of Curing Method and Insoluble Residue in Cement on the Compressive Strength of Portland Cement Mortar. Al-Qadisiya Journal for Engineering Sciences, 6, 74-80.

[15]   Dhir, R.K., Limbachiya, M.C., Mc Carthy, M.J. and Chaipanic, A. (2007) Evaluation of Portland Limestone Cements for Use in Concrete Construction. Materials and Structures, 40, 459-473.

[16]   Ghrici, M., Kenai, S. and Meziane, E. (2006) Mechanical and Durability Properties of Cement Mortar with Algerian Natural Pozzolana. Journal of Materials Science, 41, 6965-6972.

[17]   Muller, C. (2012), Use of Cement in Concrete According to European Standard EN 206-1. Housing and Building National Research Center HBRC Journal, 8, 1-7.

[18]   Alp, I., Deveci, H., Sungun, Y.H., Yilmaz, A.O., Kesimal, A. and Yilmaz, E. (2009) Pozzolanic Charracteristic of Natural Raw Material for Use in Blended Cements. Iranian Journal of Science and Technology. Transaction B, Engineering, 33, 291-300.

[19]   Mouli, M. and Khelafi, H. (2008) Performance Characteristics of Lightweight Aggregate Concrete Containing Natural Pozzolan. Building and Environment, 43, 31-36.

[20]   Marar, K. and Eren, Ö. (2011) Effect of Cement Content and Water/Cement Ratio on Fresh Concrete Properties without Admixtures. International Journal of the Physical Sciences, 6, 5752-5765.

[21]   Muhit, I.B., Haque, S. and Alam, M.R (2013) Influence of Crushed Coarse Aggregates on Properties of Concrete. American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture, 1, 103-106.

[22]   Bustnes, H.M., Lagerblad, B. and Forssberg, E. (2004) The Function of Fillers in Concrete. Materials and Structures, 37, 74-81.

[23]   Lijuan, K. and Yuanbo, D. (2015) Interfacial Interaction of Aggregate—Cement Paste in Concrete. Journal of Wuhan University of Technology—Material Science Edition, 30, 117-121.

[24]   Gong, C., Zhang, J., Wang, S. and Lu, L. (2015) Effect of Aggregate Gradation with Fuller Distribution on Properties of Sulpho aluminate Cement Concrete. Journal of Wuhan University of Technology—Material Science Edition, 30, 1029-1035.

[25]   Chi, J.M., Huang, R., Yang, C.C. and Chang, J.J. (2003) Effect of Aggregate Properties on the Strength and Stiffness of Lightweight Concrete. Cement and Concrete Composites, 25, 197-205.

[26]   Donza, H., Cabrera, O. and Irassar, E.F. (2002) High Strength Concrete with Different Fine Aggregates. Cement and Concrete Research, 32, 1755-1761.

[27]   Ke-Ru, W., Chen, B., Yao, W. and Zhang, D. (2001) Effect of Coarse Aggregates Type on Mechanical Properties of High Performance Concrete. Cement and Concrete Research, 31, 1421-1425.

[28]   Ozturan, T. and Cecen, C. (1997) Effect of Coarse Aggregate Type on Mechanical Properties of Concrete with Different Strengths. Cement and Concrete Research, 27, 165-170.

[29]   Meddah, M.S., Zitouni, S. and Belaabes, S. (2010) Effect of Content and Particle Size Distribution of Coarse Aggregate on the Compressive Strength of Concrete. Construction and Building Materials, 24, 505-512.

[30]   Katz, A. and Baum, H. (2006) Effect of High Levels of Fines Content on Concrete Properties. ACI Materials Journal. Technical Paper, 103, 476-482.

[31]   Kenya Bureau of Standards (2005) KS EAS 18-1:2001-Cement Part 1: Composition, Specification and Conformity Criteria for Common Cements. Kenya Bureau of Standards, Nairobi.

[32]   Ahmad, S. and Alghamdi, S.A. (2014) A Statistical Approach to Optimizing Concrete Mixture Design. The Scientific World Journal, 2014, Article ID: 561539.

[33]   Kenya Bureau of Standards (2000) EAS 148-2: 2000 ICS 91.100.10. East African Standards. Cements-Test Methods. Part 2. Chemical Analysis. Kenya Bureau of Standards, Nairobi.

[34]   Elmer, P. (1996) Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy: Analytical Methods. The Perkin Elmer Corporation, Waltham.