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Models of Special Concretes

Learn the fundamentals of self-compacting concrete and fibre-reinforced concrete in this free online course.

Publisher: NPTEL
Concrete placement in critical situations such as confined spaces and between tightly-spaced reinforcing steel can be very challenging. This free online course will introduce you to self-compacting concrete, which flows freely through tight spaces and self-compacts under its weight. You will also study fibre-reinforced concrete that has enhanced strength and toughness. Start the course today and learn more about these fascinating concrete types.
Models of Special Concretes
  • Duration

    1.5-3 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






View course modules


One of a contractors’ most dreaded experiences in concrete construction is striking off formwork only to find honeycombed concrete and empty patches, especially around corners, despite perhaps having put in the best efforts in carefully placing and compacting the concrete. This situation usually results in costly and time-consuming repairs and possible demolition and reworks, depending on the defects in the affected concrete structure. This outcome is mainly caused by inadequate compaction or closed-spaced reinforcing steel that makes it hard for concrete to flow and occupy all the spaces enclosed in formwork as needed. Based on this kind of experience, researchers have developed, over time, a special type of concrete known as self-compacting concrete, which flows freely through confined spaces and self-compacts without the need for vibration or mechanical compaction. In this free online course, you will learn more about this specialised type of concrete, together with a different kind of special concrete known as fibre-reinforced concrete. First, you will study the history of Self-Compacting Concrete (SCC) and the research that resulted in its invention. Then, you will discover its uses and advantages as compared to ordinary concrete.

Next, you will uncover the characteristics of SCC and the methods used for testing SCC to check whether the different types of parameters match the design intent. You are probably wondering how concrete can flow freely and compact itself while at the same time achieving the required strength in the hardened state. You will understand the science and engineering behind it when the proportioning of SCC will be elaborated. The methods used to determine the ratios in which the various ingredients should be mixed to attain the desired properties of SCC will be explained. While designing the mix proportions, it is always vital to ascertain the flow behaviour of the concrete to confirm whether it will achieve the requirements. Therefore, you will study the rheology of concrete and cement paste, and the methods and apparatus used to test the flow characteristics of these materials. After this, you will be introduced to Fibre-Reinforced Concrete (FRC), beginning with the purpose for which it was invented, followed by the factors that control its performance and the types of fibres used in making it. The process of proportioning ingredients appropriately and mixing them to result in FRC of the desired characteristics will also be discussed.

Lastly, you will gain knowledge on the properties of FRC in its hardened state and the parameters that affect the characteristics. In the field of civil and structural engineering, circumstances do arise which render ordinary concrete unsuitable. Such situations would require the use of these special types of concrete. Therefore, the knowledge and skills in their design and use would be of utmost importance in such situations. It is therefore crucial that professionals in the construction industry should be well prepared in this respect. Therefore, this course is intended for anyone involved in construction, from civil engineers, contractors, structural engineers to technicians and artisans, to prepare them to handle such challenging circumstances successfully. Whether you are a beginner in the building and construction industry or an experienced professional seeking to enrich your knowledge and skill or aspire to join the industry in future, this course is for you, so do not hesitate. Start the course now!

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