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Self-Consolidating Concrete

Self-consolidating concrete, also known as self-compacting concrete and SCC, is a highly flowable, non-segregating concrete that spreads into place, fills formwork, and encapsulates even the most congested reinforcement, all without any mechanical vibration. It is defined as a concrete mix that can be placed purely by means of its own weight, with little or no vibration. As a high-performance concrete, SCC delivers these attractive benefits while maintaining all of concrete's customary mechanical and durability characteristics. Adjustments to traditional mix designs and the use of super plasticizers creates flowing concrete that meets tough performance requirements. If needed, low dosages of viscosity modifier can eliminate unwanted bleeding and segregation.

Since its inception in the 1980s, the use of SCC has grown tremendously. The development of high performance polycarboxylate polymers and viscosity modifiers have made it possible to create “flowing” concrete without compromising durability, cohesiveness, or compressive strength. The flowability of SCC is measured in terms of spread when using a modified version of the slump test (ASTM C 143). The spread (slump flow) of SCC typically ranges from 18 to 32 inches (455 to 810 mm) depending on the requirements for the project. The viscosity, as visually observed by the rate at which concrete spreads, is an important characteristic of plastic SCC and can be controlled when designing the mix to suit the type of application being constructed.

SCC Test being conducted with a Volumetric Mixer (Note the base plate and pressure meter for testing)SCC's unique properties give it significant economic, constructability, aesthetic and engineering advantages. SCC is an increasingly attractive choice for optimizing site manpower (through reduction of labor and possibly skill level), lowering noise levels, and allowing for a safer working environment. SCC allows easier pumping (even from bottom up), flows into complex shapes, transitions through inaccessible spots, and minimizes voids around embedded items to produce a high degree of homogeneity and uniformity. That's why SCC allows for denser reinforcement, optimized concrete sections and shapes, and greater freedom of design Volumetric mixers have been meeting specifications for SCC concrete for many years. It mostly has been used in pre-casting applications to reduce the labor required for vibrating the mold into which the concrete is placed. As mentioned above, the specifications and project scopes vary for SCC applications which go hand in hand with a volumetric mixer’s versatility.
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