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In concrete structural design, concrete is an essential element because it plays a significant role in ensuring the strength, stability, and workability of the structure. Therefore, when preparing concrete for any structural use, it is important to factor in various aspects that could, in one way or the other, affect its strength and workability. For instance, it is very vital to consider the economic factor of the concrete. Thus, financially responsible decisions can be made about the proper amount of concrete to use and remain within safe parameters.
When mixing the concrete, one should consider the water to cement ratio so as to ensure that it does not go past the outlined limit. If the ratio is high, the compressive strength will be negatively affected while trying to gain workability. Past the required ratio as given in the design, the concrete is subjected to segregation and bleeding. Conversely, if the concrete is prepared with lower water to cement ratio, it gains more strength while its workability is decreased. A more brittle concrete is the result, as this concrete will be more prone to cracking. The strength of the concrete is not measurable until it has had a proper amount of time to cure. It is after seven days of curing that one is able to ascertain significant gains in the strength of such cylinders.
Therefore, one needs to understand the various factors that can have an effect on the strength and workability of a concrete structure. With this information, one will be able to have a better understanding of the design process, and will be able to make the most practical.
As shown in the results section above, the outside specimens met the expectation of having a higher strength due to being outdoors in a more humid environment. Figure 6 above proves that the outside specimens were stronger on average than the indoor samples, where the average compressive strength for outside curing is 3.64 ksi in the wet condition and 3.48 ksi for inside curing in dry conditions. Which can be concluded that the outside samples were found to be about 4.6 percent stronger than the indoor samples regardless the factors may involve such as humidity.