Determination of Compressive Strength of Concrete Produced from Different Brands of Ordinary Portland Cement
In construction process it is important to understand the compressive strength of concrete because it determines the load a structure can bear. Concrete is basically a mixture of two components; aggregates and paste. The paste, comprised of Portland cement and water, binds the aggregate (usually sand and gravel or crushed stone) into a rock-like mass as the paste hardens due to chemical reaction of cement and water. Currently there are various cement brands being sold in the market, but the best brand performance in terms of compressive strength is yet to be determined. This challenge has led to the production of poor-quality concrete that increases the risk of collapse of structures. This research is aimed at determining the impact of cement on the compressive strength of concrete with the highest compressive strength at 28-days for 1:2.2:3 mix ratios to enhance quality and durability of concrete structures. Samples of three brands of cement were used to produce concrete with 1:2.2:3 with a curing dates of 7, 21, and 28 days respectively. No additive was used in any of the mix. The tests carried out include Concrete Slump test at its fresh state, Sieve Analysis (particle size distribution), Bulk Density, Fineness Modulus Test on aggregate, Specific Gravity, Concrete Compacting factor test, Water Absorption, Physical Properties of Cement while Compressive Strength was carried out for the concrete, also the Vicat test was carried out on the cement brands to determine the setting time. Compressive strength at 28 days showed that Dangote 3X cement produced 38.00Mpa, BUA cement 37.00Mpa, and Ashaka cement 34.00Mpa for 1:2.2:3 mix ratio respectively. Moreover, it was confirmed that Dangote 3X cement has the highest compressive strength and as well conforms to SON Standard, followed by BUA Cement and lastly, Ashaka Cement. Hence, the compressive strength of concrete ascertained using the cement brands available in the Nigerian market is enough for safe construction. However, high quality materials in themselves do not produce safe structures without professional input at all levels.
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