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Field and laboratory validation of the sequential air method


This work compares the sequential air method (SAM) and the results from the hardened air-void analysis (ASTM C 457) for 488 different concrete mixtures from the lab and field. The results show that there is a wide variation of air contents that correlate with a Spacing Factor of 200 μm. These results show the inadequacy of using air content to decide the quality air void system of the concrete. In fact, 25% of the field data was shown to have a Spacing Factor higher than the recommended values. The results from the SAM, Spacing Factor, and volume of fine air voids (chords less than 300 μm) exhibited good agreement for both the laboratory and field data. Since the SAM can be used to test concrete before it sets and it can give important insight into the bubble size and spacing, this makes it a valuable tool to design and evaluate the air void system of fresh concrete and provide insight into the air void system in the hardened concrete.

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The authors would like to acknowledge funding from the Oklahoma Transportation Center and Pooled Fund TPF-5(297) and the supporting states. Special thanks to Jason Weiss for the discussion over this work. We would also like to thank David Porter, Justin Becker, Brad Woodard, Zane Lloyd, Brendan Barns, Jacob Lavey, Chad Stevenson, Jason Toney, Mark Finnell, Muwanika Jdiobe, Megan Buchanan, Tyler Suder, and Lizzie Long for their assistance in preparing samples.

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Correspondence to Hope Hall.

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The majority of the testing was completed by the Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wisconsin, and Manitoba Departments of Transportation and the Federal Highway Association Mobile Concrete Trailer. There is no conflict of interest in this work.

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The raw data from the mixtures are presented below (Tables 4, 5, 6).

Table 4 Oklahoma State University laboratory concrete testing data
Table 5 FHWA turner fairbanks highway research center laboratory concrete testing data
Table 6 Field concrete testing data

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Hall, H., Ley, M.T., Welchel, D. et al. Field and laboratory validation of the sequential air method. Mater Struct 53, 14 (2020).

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  • Durability
  • Freeze thaw
  • Air entrainment
  • Spacing factor
  • SAM number
  • Pressure meter
  • Field testing