Comparison between methods for determining the yield stress of cement pastes

  • 67 Accesses


The determination of the yield stress (τ0) of cement-based materials is of great interest for engineering applications, since it accurately describes the flow behavior and assesses empirical properties related to its workability, such as the slump of concretes and the spreading of mortars. In this work, the τ0 of cement pastes was determined by different methods. Specifically, pastes with three different water/cement ratios and two supplementary cementitious materials in Portland cement replacement were produced. The mini slump of the pastes was measured, and its static τ0 and dynamic τ0 were determined by rotational rheometry. In addition, small amplitude oscillatory shear (SAOS) was used to further investigate the rigidification rate of the pastes over time, providing valuable information for the discussion. The results showed that the dynamic τ0 values provided by the different rheological models showed strong correlations. However, these values had weaker correlations with the static τ0. The rest period between the finish of the pre-shear and the test run strongly affected the magnitude of the stress overshoot and therefore the static τ0 value. SAOS indicated that the decrease in the inter-particle distance increased the rigidification rate of the paste within the first minute after mixing, which may affect the mini slump results. Finally, the use of the mini slump as a single test to generally evaluate cement pastes with wide ranges of flowability may not be adequate, in line with the existence of different tests for the evaluation of conventional and self-compacting concretes.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 99

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16
Fig. 17


  1. 1.

    Ferraris CF, Brower LE (2003) Comparison of concrete rheometers. Concr Int 25:41–47.

  2. 2.

    Roussel N, Lemaître A, Flatt RJ, Coussot P (2010) Steady state flow of cement suspensions: a micromechanical state of the art. Cem Concr Res 40:77–84.

  3. 3.

    Chang C, Boger DV (1998) The yielding of waxy crude oils. Ind Eng Chem Res 37:1551–1559.

  4. 4.

    Banfill PFG (2011) Additivity effects in the rheology of fresh concrete containing water-reducing admixtures. Constr Build Mater 25:2955–2960.

  5. 5.

    Laskar AI, Bhattacharjee R (2011) Torque-speed relationship in a concrete rheometer with vane geometry. Constr Build Mater 25:3443–3449.

  6. 6.

    Rahman MK, Baluch MH, Malik MA (2014) Thixotropic behavior of self compacting concrete with different mineral admixtures. Constr Build Mater 50:710–717.

  7. 7.

    Saleh Ahari R, Kemal Erdem T, Ramyar K (2015) Effect of various supplementary cementitious materials on rheological properties of self-consolidating concrete. Constr Build Mater 75:89–98.

  8. 8.

    Roussel N (2006) Correlation between yield stress and slump: comparison between numerical simulations and concrete rheometers results. Mater Struct Constr 39:501–509.

  9. 9.

    Roussel N (2007) Rheology of fresh concrete: from measurements to predictions of casting processes. Mater Struct 40:1001–1012.

  10. 10.

    Roussel N, Stefani C, Leroy R (2005) From mini-cone test to Abrams cone test: measurement of cement-based materials yield stress using slump tests. Cem Concr Res 35:817–822.

  11. 11.

    Gao J, Fourie A (2015) Spread is better: an investigation of the mini-slump test. Miner Eng 71:120–132.

  12. 12.

    Gao J, Fourie A (2015) Using the flume test for yield stress measurement of thickened tailings. Miner Eng 81:116–127.

  13. 13.

    Schwartzentruber LDA, Le Roy R, Cordin J (2006) Rheological behaviour of fresh cement pastes formulated from a self compacting concrete (SCC). Cem Concr Res 36:1203–1213.

  14. 14.

    Pashias N, Boger DV, Summers J, Glenister DJ (1996) A fifty cent rheometer for yield stress measurement. J Rheol (N. Y. N. Y) 40:1179–1189.

  15. 15.

    Wallevik OH, Feys D, Wallevik JE, Khayat KH (2015) Avoiding inaccurate interpretations of rheological measurements for cement-based materials. Cem Concr Res 78:100–109.

  16. 16.

    Roy DM, Asaga K (1979) Rheological properties of cement mixes: III. The effects of mixing procedures on viscometric properties of mixes containing superplasticizers. Cem Concr Res 9:731–739.

  17. 17.

    Han D, Ferron RD (2016) Influence of high mixing intensity on rheology, hydration, and microstructure of fresh state cement paste. Cem Concr Res 84:95–106.

  18. 18.

    de França MS, Cazacliu B, Cardoso FA, Pileggi RG (2019) Influence of mixing process on mortars rheological behavior through rotational rheometry. Constr Build Mater 223:81–90.

  19. 19.

    Assaad JJ, Harb J, Maalouf Y (2014) Measurement of yield stress of cement pastes using the direct shear test. J Nonnewton Fluid Mech 214:18–27.

  20. 20.

    Cardoso FA, Fujii AL, Pileggi RG, Chaouche M (2015) Parallel-plate rotational rheometry of cement paste: Influence of the squeeze velocity during gap positioning. Cem Concr Res 75:66–74.

  21. 21.

    Mbasha W, Masalova I, Haldenwang R, Malkin A (2015) The yield stress of cement pastes as obtained by different rheological approaches. Appl Rheol 25:1–11.

  22. 22.

    Bala M, Zentar R, Boustingorry P (2019) Comparative study of the yield stress determination of cement pastes by different methods. Mater Struct.

  23. 23.

    Roussel N, Le Roy R, Coussot P (2004) Thixotropy modelling at local and macroscopic scales. J Nonnewton Fluid Mech 117:85–95.

  24. 24.

    De la Varga I, Castro J, Bentz DP, Zunino F, Weiss J (2018) Evaluating the hydration of high volume fly ash mixtures using chemically inert fillers. Constr Build Mater 161:221–228.

  25. 25.

    Felekoğlu B (2014) Rheological behaviour of self-compacting micro-concrete. Sadhana Acad Proc Eng Sci 39:1471–1495.

  26. 26.

    Sonebi M, Lachemi M, Hossain KMA (2013) Optimisation of rheological parameters and mechanical properties of superplasticised cement grouts containing metakaolin and viscosity modifying admixture. Constr Build Mater 38:126–138.

  27. 27.

    Roussel N, Coussot P (2005) “Fifty-cent rheometer” for yield stress measurements: from slump to spreading flow. J Rheol (N. Y. N. Y) 49:705–718.

  28. 28.

    ABNT, NBR 16697 (2018) Cimento Portland-Requisitos 12

  29. 29.

    de Matos PR, Prudêncio LR, de Oliveira AL, Pelisser F, Gleize PJP (2018) Use of porcelain polishing residue as a supplementary cimentitious material in self-compacting concrete. Constr Build Mater 193:623–630.

  30. 30.

    de Matos PR, de Oliveira AL, Pelisser F, Prudêncio LR (2018) Rheological behavior of Portland cement pastes and self-compacting concretes containing porcelain polishing residue. Constr Build Mater 175:508–518.

  31. 31.

    Yuan Q, Zhou D, Khayat KH, Feys D, Shi C (2017) On the measurement of evolution of structural build-up of cement paste with time by static yield stress test vs. small amplitude oscillatory shear test. Cem Concr Res 99:183–189.

  32. 32.

    Kantro DL (1980) Influence of water-reducing admixtures on properties of cement paste: a miniature slump test. Cem. Concr. Agreg. 2:95–102.

  33. 33.

    Roussel N (2006) A thixotropy model for fresh fluid concretes: theory, validation and applications. Cem Concr Res 36:1797–1806.

  34. 34.

    Yahia A, Khayat KH (2001) Analytical models for estimating yield stress of high-performance pseudoplastic grout. Cem Concr Res 31:731–738.

  35. 35.

    Mostafa AM, Yahia A (2016) New approach to assess build-up of cement-based suspensions. Cem Concr Res 85:174–182.

  36. 36.

    Yahia A, Tanimura M (2015) Rheology of belite-cement: effect of w/c and high-range water-reducer type. Constr Build Mater 88:169–174.

  37. 37.

    Cheng DC-H (1986) Yield stress: a time-dependent property and how to measure it. Rheol Acta 554:542–554.

  38. 38.

    Qian Y, Kawashima S (2018) Distinguishing dynamic and static yield stress of fresh cement mortars through thixotropy. Cem Concr Compos 86:288–296.

  39. 39.

    Bentz DP, Ferraris CF, Galler MA, Hansen AS, Guynn JM (2012) Influence of particle size distributions on yield stress and viscosity of cement-fly ash pastes. Cem Concr Res 42:404–409.

  40. 40.

    Liddell V (1996) Yield stress measurements with the vane. J Non-Newton Fluid Mech 63:235–261

  41. 41.

    Nguyen QD, Boger DV (1992) Measuring the flow properties of yield stress fluids. Annu Rev Fluid Mech 24:47–88.

  42. 42.

    Medina-Bañuelos EF, Marín-Santibáñez BM, Pérez-González J, Kalyon DM (2019) Rheo-PIV analysis of the vane in cup flow of a viscoplastic microgel. J Rheol (NYNY) 63:905–915.

  43. 43.

    Perrot A, Lecompte T, Khelifi H, Brumaud C, Hot J, Roussel N (2012) Yield stress and bleeding of fresh cement pastes. Cem Concr Res 42:937–944.

  44. 44.

    Roussel N, Ovarlez G, Garrault S, Brumaud C (2012) The origins of thixotropy of fresh cement pastes. Cem Concr Res 42:148–157.

  45. 45.

    Overlaz G (2012) Introduction to the rheometry of complex suspensions. In: Roussel N (ed) Understanding the rheology of concrete. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, p 364

  46. 46.

    Coussot P (2005) Rheometry of pastes, suspensions, and granular materials: applications in industry and environment. Wiley, Hoboken

  47. 47.

    Jiao D, Shi C, Yuan Q (2019) Time-dependent rheological behavior of cementitious paste under continuous shear mixing. Constr Build Mater 226:591–600.

  48. 48.

    Huang T, Li B, Yuan Q, Shi Z, Xie Y, Shi C (2019) Rheological behavior of Portland clinker-calcium sulphoaluminate clinker- anhydrite ternary blend. Cem Concr Compos 104:103403.

  49. 49.

    Yahia A (2014) Effect of solid concentration and shear rate on shear-thickening response of high-performance cement suspensions. Constr Build Mater 53:517–521.

  50. 50.

    Vance K, Sant G, Neithalath N (2015) The rheology of cementitious suspensions: a closer look at experimental parameters and property determination using common rheological models. Cem Concr Compos 59:38–48.

  51. 51.

    Bingham EC (1922) Fluidity and plasticity. Mcgraw-Hill Book Company Inc., New York

  52. 52.

    Herschel WH, Bulkley R (1926) Measurement of consistency as applied to rubber-benzene solutions. Am Soc Test Proc 26:621–633

  53. 53.

    Feys D, De Schutter G, Verhoeven R (2013) Parameters influencing pressure during pumping of self-compacting concrete. Mater Struct 46:533–555.

  54. 54.

    Ma K, Feng J, Long G, Xie Y (2016) Effects of mineral admixtures on shear thickening of cement paste. Constr Build Mater 126:609–616.

  55. 55.

    Guo Y, Zhang T, Wei J, Yu Q, Ouyang S (2017) Evaluating the distance between particles in fresh cement paste based on the yield stress and particle size. Constr Build Mater 142:109–116.

  56. 56.

    Zhao M, Zhang X, Zhang Y (2016) Effect of free water on the flowability of cement paste with chemical or mineral admixtures. Constr Build Mater 111:571–579.

  57. 57.

    Kim JH, Kwon SH, Kawashima S, Yim HJ (2017) Rheology of cement paste under high pressure. Cem Concr Compos 77:60–67.

  58. 58.

    Shanahan N, Tran V, Williams A, Zayed A (2016) Effect of SCM combinations on paste rheology and its relationship to particle characteristics of the mixture. Constr Build Mater 123:745–753.

  59. 59.

    Barnes HA, Nguyen QD (2001) Rotating vane rheometry: a review. J Nonnewton Fluid Mech 98:1–14.

  60. 60.

    Divoux T, Mannevilleac C, Sébastien B (2011) Stress overshoot in a simple yield stress fluid: an extensive study combining rheology and velocimetry. Soft Matter 7:9335–9349.

  61. 61.

    Dimitriou CJ, Mckinley GH, Venkatesan R (2011) Rheo-PIV analysis of the yielding and flow of model waxy crude oils. Energy Fuels 25:3040–3052.

  62. 62.

    Baldino N, Gabriele D, Lupi FR, Seta L, Zinno R (2014) Rheological behaviour of fresh cement pastes: influence of synthetic zeolites, limestone and silica fume. Cem Concr Res 63:38–45.

  63. 63.

    de Larrard F, Ferraris CF, Sedran T (1998) Fresh concrete: a HerscheI–Bulkley material. Mater Struct 31:494–498.

Download references


The authors acknowledge the following Brazilian governmental research agencies for the financial support: National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES); Santa Catarina Research Foundation (FAPESC). We also would like to acknowledge the staff of the Central Laboratory of Electronic Microscopy (LCME-UFSC) for their assistance, and professor Rafael Giuliano Pileggi (Escola Politécnica-USP) for the insightful discussion that motivated this research. The two anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged for their invaluable contributions.

Author information

Correspondence to Paulo Ricardo de Matos.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors certify that they have NO affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements) or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Technical Editor: Edson José Soares, PhD.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

de Matos, P.R., Pilar, R., Casagrande, C.A. et al. Comparison between methods for determining the yield stress of cement pastes. J Braz. Soc. Mech. Sci. Eng. 42, 24 (2020) doi:10.1007/s40430-019-2111-2

Download citation


  • Cement paste
  • Yield stress
  • Rheology
  • Oscillatory rheometry
  • Mini slump