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Self-consolidating concrete or self-compacting concrete(SCC) is characterized by a low yield stress, high deformability, and moderate viscosity necessary to ensure uniform suspension of solid particles during transportation, placement (without external compaction), and thereafter until the concrete sets.
Such concrete can be used for casting heavily reinforced sections, places where there can be no access to vibrators for compaction and in complex shapes of formwork which may otherwise be impossible to cast, giving a far superior surface than conventional concrete. SCC was conceptualized in 1986 by Prof. Okamura at Ouchi University, Japan.
The first generation of SCC used in North America was characterized by the use of relatively high content of binder as well as high dosages of chemicals admixtures, usually superplasticizer to enhance flowability and stability. Such high-performance concrete had been used mostly in repair applications and for casting concrete in restricted areas. The first generation of SCC was therefore characterized and specified for specialized applications.
The relatively high cost of material used in such concrete continues to hinder its widespread use in various segments of the construction industry, including commercial construction, however the productivity economics take over in achieving favorable performance benefits and works out to be economical in pre-cast industry. The incorporation of powder, including supplementary cementitious materials and filler, can increase the volume of the paste, hence enhancing deformability, and can also increase the cohesiveness of the paste and stability of the concrete. The reduction in cement content and increase in packing density of materials finer than 80 µm, like fly ash etc. can reduce the water-cement ratio, and the high-range water reducer (HRWR) demand. The reduction in free water can reduce the concentration of viscosity-enhancing admixture (VEA) necessary to ensure proper stability during casting and thereafter until the onset of hardening. It has been demonstrated that a total sand content of about 50% of total aggregate is favorable in designing for SCC.
- selfconsolidatingconcrete.org: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association