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No-Fines

Pervious
Concrete
lar Paving
by Richard C. Meininger
Results of a laboratory study of nofines pervious concrete for paving are
presented. Conclusions are drawn
regarding the percent air voids needed
for adequate permeability, the optimum
water-cement ratio range, and the
amounts of compaction and curing
required. Recommendations are made
regarding appropriate uses for this type
of concrete.

o-fines, pervious concrete is


being used for paving in situations where it is desired to
have rainfall or surface water percolate through the pavement
into a permeable base. The elimination of fine aggregate produces
concrete in which the coarse aggregate particles are coated with a water-cement paste that bonds them
together at their contact points. The
fairly large voids left between the
coarse aggregate particles allow the
concrete to be permeable to water.
This concrete is used in Florida to
eliminate storm water run-off from
parking lots and reduce the need for
separate storm water retention
ponds in shopping centers and developments. It is particularly useful
in areas where local or state regulations require that storm water be
retained on the site to recharge the
groundwater system with fresh water and to reduce the need for storm
sewers.

Data and references are available from NRMCANAA, 900 Spring St., Silver Spring, MD 20910.

20

Fig. 1 - No-fines concrete facilitates drainage to a storm


water retention basin.

No-fines concrete is also used for


paving in greenhouses and nurseries
where it is undesirable to have free
water on paved surfaces. It permits
the surface to appear relatively dry
with no streams or puddles of water
from irrigation of plants or nursery
stock. Use of pervious concrete also
allows a parking lot to be built
around trees, without cutting off air
and moisture to the roots below.
In extreme cases, to impound the
needed amount of rainfall in heavy
storms, parking lots are being designed to store water not only in
voids of the pavement or base material, but also on top of the pavement. These parking lots temporarily store an additional 6 in. (15 cm)
of rainfall up to the curb line on a
completely fIat 101. Their entrance
aprons must be humped up enough
to retain the design storm water
amount and not allow it to run out
into the adjacent road or gutter.
No fines pervious concrete has
been used as an open-graded drainage material in bases under sidewalks and light duty pavement, and
also as drainage layers under highway shoulders, to allow water trapped under pavements to flow more
rapidly out of the pavement structure. A double-barrelled approach
uses no-fines concrete plus a drain
pipe to a small storm water retention basin (Fig. 1).

Laboratory research
Several research series were conducted in the National Aggregates
Association (NAA) - National
Ready Mixed Concrete Association
(NRMCA) Joint Research Laboratory to develop information concerning proportioning methods as
well as methods of measuring the
strength and permeability of nofines pervious concrete. Batch sizes
ranging from 1 to 3 ft3 (0.028 to
0.085 m') were mixed in rotating
drum laboratory mixers. Laboratory stock Type I cement was used
with two sizes of stock coarse aggregate: moderately rounded gravel
aggregates of % in. (9.5 mm) maximum size (ASTM C 33, No 8 size),
and % in. (19 mm) maximum size
(ASTM C 33, No. 67 size). Fig. 2
shows the end of a broken 6 x 12 in.
(152 x 305 mm) strength cylinder
and a 4 x 14 in. (102 x 356 mm) cylinder used in freezing and thawing
tests (both cylinders were made
from laboratory concrete containing No. 8 size aggregate).
The properties of no-fines concrete depend not only on its proportions but also on its compaction. To better understand the effect of compaction on concrete air
void content, unit weight, and comKeywords: coarse aggregates; laboratories; no-fines
concretes; research; voids.

Concrete International

125

.~.>

120

.....
.'~

f'

e:
:I:

~
;::

BATCH A, w/c

z 110

::>

Il:

w
e

~ t. ~'

...

~><~

100

Fig. 2 - No-fines pervious concrete strength test and


freeze-thaw test cylinders.

No compaction (just scoop concrete in).


Fill in two layers; tilt and drop
cylinder after each.
Two layers; five tamp cornpaction of each with 5 lb circular
tamper.
Two layers; five drops of the
tamper for each layer.
Two layers; five drops each using
a proctor hammer.
Two layers; 15 tamps each layer.
Three layers; 25 drops each with
the proctor hammer.

105

)
l.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

pressive strength, concrete batches


were mixed at two different watercement ratios (0.31 and 0.34) and 6
x 12 in. (152 x 305 mm) cylinders
were then made using eight different procedures:

//
/

= 0.34

~v

./.ATCH

1
B, W/C

0.31

7
8
METHODS OF COMPACTION (AND 28-DAY COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH
OF CYLINDER FROM BATCH A, BATCH B)
NO COMPACTION, CONCRETE SCOOPED INTO MOLO
2 LAYERS, TILT ANO OROP MOLO
2 LAYERS, 5 TAMPS EACH OF THE TAMPER (1355, 975 psi)
2 LAYERS, 5 OROPS EACH OF THE TAMPER (1340 psi, 1050 psi)
2 LAYERS, 5 DROPS EACH, PROCTOR HAW1ER (1360 psi, 1100 psi)
2 LAYERS, 15 TAMPS EACH OF THE TAMPER (1550 psi, 1395 psi)
3 LAYERS, 25 DROPS EACH, PROCTOR HAMMER (1945 psi, 1540 psi)
ASTM C 31 ROOOING PROCEOURE, 3 LAYERS (2475 psi, 2095 psi)

Fig. 3 - Cylinder unit weights and strengths for eight


different compaction methods.

C 31 rodding compaction; 25
strokes on each of 3 layers.
The resulting
cylinder unit
weights and strengths are shown in
Fig. 3. Unit weight ranged from a
low of about 105 lh/ft ' (1682 kg/
m') with no compaction up to about
120 lb /ft" (1922 kg z'rn') with the
ASTM C 31 rodding procedure.
The cylinders with no compaction
were unsatisfactory because they
contained large voids and discontinuities, so three levels representing different amounts of cornpaction that might be obtained in paving were chosen for future work:
Light (5 tamp compaction of each
of two layers)
Unit weight range:
107 to 111 Ib/ft3
(1714 to 1778 kg/rn ')

b .t~
Fig. 4 - Bottom surface of percolation specimens with
open channels (flow).
August 1988

/)

115

8,

.)

-:

Compressive strength range:


980 to 1360 psi
(6.8 to 9.4 MPa)
Medium (15 tamps on each of two
layers)
Unit weight range:
111 to 1141b/ft3
(1778 to 1826 kg/rri')
Compressive strength range:
1400 to 1550 psi
(9.6 to 10.7 MPa)
Heavy (C 31 rodding compaction [3
layers])
Unit weight range:
120 to 122 Ib/ft3
(1922 to 1954 kg/ru')
Compressive strength range:
2100 to 2480 psi
(14.5 to 17.1 MPa)
The tamper used for the 5 and 15
tamp compaction level was made
from pipe fittings. It weighs 5.0 lb

4'~~"~"~;"~~~~__JL~ZL:~~...

LUL~:':.

Fig. 5 - Bottom surface of percolation specimens with


blocked channels (no flow).
21

3000

Pervious

Concrete

continued
.~

2500

Ul

o.

:2

E-<

t!)

""

6, NO. 8 COARSE AGGREGATE

2000

P::
E-<
U)

""

~ 30~~--~~----+------+------4------4--4

:>

3::

H
U)
U)

~
~

e,

~ 25r------+------~~~~~----~----~~
u
::;

u
><

ril

Cl

1500

""

P::

~
8
Z
ril
~Z

1000

co
N

20

500

MIXER HOLDBACK
DRY

::;

15

.:;

.25

.30

.30

.50

.45
.40
.35
WATER-CEMENT RATIO

Fig. 6 - Relationship between w/c and air content for two


compaction levels.

(2.3 kg) and has a vertical handle


with a horizontal circular metal, 4in. (l02-mm)
diameter
tamping
head.

Test methods

unit weight of the concrete was


measured in a 0.25 fe (0.007 m ')
unit weight bucket using the 5 tamp
two layer compaction. Unit weights
were also determined on cylinders
made by both the light compaction
(5 tamps, 2 layers) and heavy compaction (C 31 rodding, 3 layers),
and on flexural beams made at two
compaction levels.
Compressive
strength was measured on 6 x 12 in. (152 x 305 mm)
cylinders made using the light cornpaction
and heavy compaction.

w/c

Water
(lb/yd')

0.51
0.47
0.43
0.39
0.35
0.31
0.27

440
430
430
425
415
410
395

224
203
184
165
145
125
106

22

.40

.45

.50

Fig. 7 - Relationship between 28-day compressive


strength and water-cement ratio.

Flexural strength was measured on


6 x 6 x 36 in. (152 x 152 x 914 mm)
beams using two breaks per beam
with third-point loading (ASTM C
78). Beams were prepared to simulate the same two compaction levels
used on cylinders.
For the light
compaction
they were prepared in
one layer using the 5 lb (2.3 kg)
tamper, and for the heavy cornpaction using two layers and the ASTM
C 31 rodding procedure.
Air void content of the concrete
was calculated gravimetrically from
the unit weight data determined
from a11 types of specimens (unit
weight bucket, 6 x 12 in. [152 x 305
mm] cylinders, and flexural beams).
The rate at which water could
percolate through the no-fines per-

Table 1 - Detailed data for light compaction tests


(5 tamp compaction; No. 8 coarse aggregate;
aggregatecement ratio = 6)
Cement
(lb/ydJ)

.35

WATER-CEMENT RATIO

Coarse
aggregate

Air

(lb/yd')

(OJo)

Strength
(psi)

Percolation
(in./min)

2640
2575
2570
2550
2520
2430
2370

22
23
25
27
29
32
33

1350
1370
1500
1400
1250
1010
870

5
4
10
30
40
51
59

vious concrete was measured


in a
percolation test rig consisting of a 6
x 12 in. (152 x 305 mm) plastic cylinder mold with the bottom cut out
placed over a cured half-height (6 x
6 in. [152 x 152 mm]) cylinder made
from the test concrete. Mastic was
placed on the sides of the 6 x 6 in.
(152 x 152 mm) cylinder to prevent
water flowing out the sides, and
then the plastic cylinder mold was
slid down about 3 in. (76 mm) over
the percolation cylinder.
Water was run through the percolation cylinder for a few minutes
to condition it, and then the water
level aboye the cylinder was raised
to more than 5 in. (127 mm) aboye
the cylinder and the hose shut off.
The percolation rate was measured
by timing the drop in the water SUfface from a point 5 in. (127 mm)
aboye the top surface of the cylinder to a point 1 in. (25 mm) aboye
the cylinder. This was converted to
inches of rainfa11 transmitted
per
minute by dividing 240 by the number of seconds it took the water
level to drop 4 in. (102 mm).
Fig. 4 (flow) and Fig. 5 (no flow)
shows the bottom surface of sorne
of the percolation
specimens. The
voids between the coarse aggregate
particles of specimens with a higher
paste content can become blocked
so that the channels in the specimen
Concrete International

Table 2 - Cernent content


ranges for strength test
results shown in Fig. 7 (No.
67 coarse aggregate)
a/c

w/c

Cernent
(lb/ydJ)

4
6
10

0.25 to 0.49
0.25 to 0.49
0.27 to 0.51

600 to 680
400 to 450
250 to 270

100

80
e

'e

<,

60

..<
Ul

;;

8E-<

o<t:

Table 3 values

~1>:

1>:

Ul

40

2000

E-<

:iI

e,

..

20

5-Tarnp

O
10
20

b/bo
070
Sand

E-<

Effective b/bo

3000

o.

Ul
Ul
:.

IW.

1000

1>:

C 31

67 C. AGG

A/C = 6

p..

W/C = 0.38

(.)

NO.8
0.92
0.84
0.78

No. 67
0.92
0.85
0.78

No.8
0.99
0.93
0.85

No. 67
0.99
0.93
0.86

are not continuous in sorne cases,


causing a no flow condition.

Water-cernent ratio
To investigate the effect of water-cernent ratio, a series of batches
were rnixed with ratios varying frorn
0.51 down to 0.27. In this series a
fixed aggregate-cernent ratio (a/c =
6) was used with the No. 8 coarse
aggregate. Here basically relatively
fixed cernent and aggregate contents were used, and as the water
content of the batches increased, the
water-cernent paste occupied more
of the voids in the coarse aggregate,
thus lowering the air void content.
Fig. 6 shows the gravirnetric air
content of the light and rnediurn
cornpaction batches calculated frorn
the unit weight data. As water-cernent ratio increased the air void
content decreased in a linear relationship, with the light cornpaction
having air voids about 2 percent
higher than the rnediurn cornpaction. Observation of the consistency of the water-cernent paste and
how the concrete handled in the
mixer indicated that water-cernent
ratios in the 0.35 to 0.45 range are
best for efficient coating of the aggregate. Low water-cernent ratios

August 1988

10

20

AIR CONTENT,

30

40

PERCENT

10

20

30

PERCENT SAND

Fig. 8 - Minimum air void content of


15% is needed for flow.

Fig. 9 - Adding 10 to 20% sand


increases compressive strength.

tended to cause balling and sticking


of the concrete in the mixer, resulting in substantial hold-back of concrete when the drum was tilted for
discharge. High water-cernent ratios gave a thin paste that could run
off the aggregate during placernent
resulting in increased variability and
blockage of water flow channels.
Table 1 shows detailed data for
the light cornpaction. As the air
content increased frorn 22 percent
to 33 percent, the rate of percolation increased from about 5 to 50
in./rnin (127 to 1270 rnrn/rnin). The
cornpressive strength appeared to be
optirnurn in the mid-range of watercernent ratios. At high water-cernent ratio the strength was lower,
and at very low water-cernent ratios
(where the air content is higher)
strengths becarne very low, because
the past volurne was greatly reduced and did not bind the aggregate particles together as well.

The strength data frorn these


mixtures is shown in Fig. 7, along
with the strength data for those using No. 8 size coarse aggregate.
Again, the trend is to have better
strengths in the rnid-range of watercernent ratios for both sizes of
coarse aggregate. The traditional
water-cernent ratio law does not
hold for these mixtures beca use of
the large differences in air-void
content and the difficulty of handling and cornpacting mixtures with
very low water-cernent ratios.
The percolation rate becornes very
low (or no flow was observed) when
the air void content of the specirnens become as low as 15 percent
(Fig. 8). It appears that void content values need to be 15 percent or
more to assure flow.

Test results for No. 67


coarse aggregate
A series of batches were rnixed
using the % in. (19 mm) rnaxirnurn
size coarse aggregate (No. 67) and
three cernent content ranges governed by the aggregate-cement and
water-cernent ratios used (Table 2).

Effect of adding sand


The strength of no-fines concrete
irnproves when a srnall arnount of
sand is added (10 to 20 percent as a
percentage of the total aggregate
weight) (Fig. 9). As sand is added to
the mixture it tends to fill the voids,
reducing the air content frorn 26
percent to 22 and 17 percent in this
case, and raising the compres sive
strength frorn about 1500 psi (10.3
MPa) to about 2500 psi (17.2 MPa).

23

Pervious

Concrete

continued
1.0
NO. 8 C. AGG.
40

0.9

30

0.8

E-<
Z
>il
U

tt:
>il

o..

E-<
Z
>il
E-<
Z

o
.c
.c

<,

0.7

o
u 20

5-TAMP

o:;
H

,c;

0.6

10

NO. 8 C. AGG.
0.5

O
O

10

20

30

40

50

PASTE CONTENT, PERCENT

Fig. 10 - Relationship between paste and air contents for


two levels of compaction and three sand contents.

Proportioning

relationships

A series of batches of concrete


was mixed, all using the same midrange w/c of 0.38, and two size of
coarse aggregate - No. 8 and No.
67. For each aggregate size, sand
percentages were varied from O percent up to 50 percent. At sand contents over about 30 percent the concrete became more normal in consistency and did not have the
content of larger voids necessary to
allow water to flow through.

Proportianing

20

30

40

50

PASTE CONTENT, %

Fig. 11 - Relationship between paste content and b/b, for


two levels of compaction and three sand contents.

An example of the data for the Vs


in. (9.5 mm) aggregate (No. 8) is
shown in Fig. 10 for light cornpaction (5 tamp; solid lines) and heavy
compaction (C 31; dashed lines).
For each condition sand contents of
O, 10, and 20 percent are shown.
The family of curves for the % in.
(19 mm) aggregate (No. 67) are very
similar. These curves could be used
to proportion concrete within the
desired air content range of about
15 to 22 pecent (enough voids to allow water flow but not reduce

strength to an unacceptable level).


For example, one could pick a series of batches along the 20 percent
air line at a w/c = 0.38. In increasing order of paste content the trial
batches would be
for C 31 compaction:
13OJo paste volume; 20% sand
15% paste volume; 10% sand
17% paste volume; 0% sand
for 5 tamp compaction:
18% paste volume; 20% sand
20% paste volume; 10OJo sand
22% paste volume; 0% sand

procedure

1. Required data on coarse aggregate:


SSD specific gravity; absorption; dry-rodded unit
weight
2. Select a mid-rangc w!c
(0.33 to 0.45)
3. Select a trial b/b: (Table 3)
4. Calculate batch weight of coarse aggregate
(b/bo) (dry-rodded unit weight) (batch volume);
correct to SSD
5. Calculate absolute volume of coarse aggregate
6. Select target air void content
10-15% - little or no flow; good strength
15-20% - permeable; fair strength

24

10

20-30% - highly permeable; poor strength


7. Calculate absolute volume of air
8. Calculate absolute volume of sand, (if any)
9. Calculate sand batch weight (if any)
10. Calculate absolute volume of water-cement paste
11. Calculate batch weight of cement
12. Calculate batch weight of water
13. Mix trial batch and determine:
unit weight; air void content; yield; strength; etc.
for compaction level desired (or several compaction
levels)
14. Adjust batch weights

Concrete International

6000

COMPACTION
-- 5 TAMP

50

5000

:>

~E-<

oex:

o.

40

::C
E-<

t!l

o
o

ti)

30

z
H
H

:>

3000

~
~
O

2000

H
ti)
ti)

::E
Z

4000

Z
cr;
E-<

oex:

oex:
cr;

PERCENT SAND
O, 10, 20

fJJ

~cr;

.....:

-- C 31

.-1

cr;
P<

20

ti)
Q

:>
E-<

10

1000

NO. 8 C. AGG.

U
cr;
W

P<

o
o

10

20

30

40

50

PASTE CONTENT, PERCENT

Fig. 12 - Relationship between paste content and VMA


for two levels of compaction and three sand contents.

Another approach to proportioning that appears to work well is the


use of the b rb ; concept
as ernployed in A'C] 211.1 for proportioning
normal weight concrete.
Here the ratio b/b; compares the
amount
of coarse aggregate in a
unit volume of concrete with the
amount of coarse aggregate in a like
volume of dry rodded coarse aggregate (ASTM e 29 Test Method).
Fig. 11 shows calculated b/b; values for the series of batches with
No. 8 coarse aggregate at various
paste contents, for 2 levels of compaction and O, 10, and 20 percent
sand contents. For practical pastecontents aboye about 10 percent the
curves are relatively flat, indicating
that b/b; (amount of coarse aggregate in the concrete) is relatively
constant
and not affected by the
past content. However, compaction
level and sand content do affect the
amount of coarse aggregate in the
concrete. The b/b; curves for the %
in. (19 mm) (No. 67) coarse aggregate are very similar to those for the
Vs in. (9.5 mm) (No. 8) size.
Table 3 shows the effective b/b,
values for the series of concrete
batches. The b/b; concept, in using
the dry-rodded
unit weight of
coarse
aggregate,
automatically

August 1988

10

15

20

25

30

AIR CONTENT, PERCENT

Fig. 13 - Relationship between gravimetric air content


and 28-day compressive strength of cylinders.

compensates
for the effect of different coarse aggregate
particle
shape, grading, and specific gravity. Therefore, these values should
be usable for trial batches with any
normal weight coarse aggregate.
They can be used to estimate the
amount of coarse aggregate per cubic yard, if the level of compaction
in the resulting construction can be
selected accurately.
The same data can be plotted in a
different
way (Fig. 12) to show
voids in the mineral
aggregate
(VMA) in the same way that asphalt technicians look at the voids
between the aggregate skeleton in
an asphaltic concrete mixture. In
that context VMA is the voids in the
mixture of coarse aggregate
and
fine aggregate
(i f any is used).
However, I feel the b/b; approach
is easier to use.

Comprehensive example
A series of batches were mixed at
two compaction levels (light [5 tamp
compaction] and heavy [e 31 cornpaction])
and with two sizes of
coarse aggregate (No. 8 and No.
67). All were mixed using a watercement ratio of 0.39. The principalpurpose of this series was to better

define the fIow Ino flow boundary


for air void contents in the lOto 25
percent range, using a series of mixtures with O, 10, and 20 percent
sand. Water percolation
rate was
measured on specimens made from
each mixture, and both compressive
and flexural strength
was determined.
Fig. 13 shows the relationship of
compressive
strength
to air void
content as calculated
gr avirnetrically from the unit weight of the
cylinders. All test conditions are included in this data. Fig. 14 shows
flexural strength data versus the air
content calculated
from the unit
weight of each beam specimen.
These mixtures are highly dependent on the void content.
Fig. 15 shows the relationship of
flexural strength to compressive
strength for this series and for other
fairly low strength regular concrete
data from the NAA-NRMeA
Joint
Research Laboratory.
The heavy
compaction data (black circles) appear to be more in line with previous laboratory
data, while the
light compaction (open circles) show
a higher flexural
strength
than
might be expected for the corresponding
compressive
strength.
Sorne of the explanation
for this

25

700

D
D

600

Ul

a.

UJ

:i

o.

i
E-<
o

E-<

:z:
,:

400

E-<
Ul

400

E-<

~p

><
,:

300

,_:

rx..

. ..
. .
D

l'

e
e

,_:

Ul

... .. . ..
o

300

X
W
H
tLo

-:

200

200

10

15
AIR CONTENT,

100 ~----~----~----~----~----~----~
2000
3000
4000
1000
20
PERCENT

25

appears to be related to a difference


of about 2.5 percent air content of
the concrete as compacted in the
beam mold versus that in the cylinder mold using light compaction.
The air content was higher in the
cylinders than that in the beams,
probably due to the more confined
shape of the cylinders and greater
probability of friction and confinement in the center porion of a beam
moldo

Limited freezing and


thawing tests
Freezing and thawing specimens
(4 x 14 in. [102 x 356 mm] cylinders
with gage studs in the ends) were
molded from no-fines concrete with
No. 8 coarse aggregate containing:
Cement 497 lb/yd' (295 kg/rn')
Water
194 lb/yd' (115 kg/rri')
Gravel 26001b/yd3 (1543 kg/rri')
w/c
0.39
No admixtures were used. The
mix characteristics were:
Air void content:
21 percent.
Unit weight:
121 lb/yd' (72 kg/rn')
Compressive strength:
1910 psi (13.2 MPa)

5000

6000

30
COMPRESSIVE

Fig. 14 - Relationship between gravimetric air content


and flexural strength of beams.

26

..

:>:;

W
p:;

~::J

(l

..

500

/f..

.-1

500
...,

STRENGTH,

psi

Fig. 15 - Relationship between flexural strength and


compressive strength.

Flexural strength:
320 psi (2.2 MPa)
Percolation rate:
7.3 in./min (185 mm/min)
The specimens were cured in a
standard moist room for 30 days, at
which time half of the specimens
were subjected to ASTM C 666
Procedure A (freezing and thawing
in water) and half to Procedure B
(freezing in air and thawing in water). AH of the specimens failed
fairly quickly in both freezing exposures, indicating that the voids in
the concrete became saturated and
the water was not able to drain out
quickly enough to prevent freezing
damage in the rapid (5 cyc1es per
day) freeze-thaw exposure.
The cylinders appeared to crack
and tend to split lengthwise, indicating a build up of pressure due to
freezing of water in larger internal
voids. It was not the type of failure
where material sloughs off the outside surface. The rapid freezing
from all directions may have driven
water to the interior of the specimens, and when the internal water
froze there was no avenue of pressure relief. For a situation where
freezing is slower, and from one direction, there may be more opportunity for water to drain out of the
no-fines paving material.
Caution needs to be exercised
when using a product such as this

where it might beco me saturated


prior to a hard freeze. Sorne concrete producers are using air-entrainment in the paste; this may improve durability, but it may affect
the permeability characteristics as
well. Caution must also be exercised in using pervious concrete in
exposures where sulfates or acids
may be involved since the perrneability of the product would allow
such aggressive solutions to penetrate and attack the interior of the
concrete.

Example parking lots


Fig. 16 shows a good job where
no- fines pervious concrete has been
used to advantage.
Raveling can occur when there is
insufficient hardened paste to hold
the top coarse aggregate, when the
top aggregate pieces are not correctly seated into the concrete, and
when poor curing allows the cement
paste to dry before sufficient hydration has taken place. Fig. 17
shows a hand screed finish on a
parking lot. No additional compaction and seating of the coarse aggregate was accomplished, and that
coupled with poor curing caused the
parking lot to have a rough, raveling surface one year after construction.
Concrete International

Fig. 16 - A quality job using no-fines


pervious concrete.

Fig. 17 - Hand screed finish of no-fines permeable concrete paving provides


inadequate compaction and seating of aggregate.

Fig. 18 shows the surface and a


construction joint of a new parking
lot where extra effort was applied in
properly seating the top layer of
coarse aggregate and in curing the
concrete. The screed used to strike
off the concrete had a rounded edge
which tended to compact the top
surface and a manually operated
steel lawn roller was run over the
surface just behind the screeding
operation to properly embed the
aggregate. Immediately following
that the concrete was covered with
sheet plastic to insure proper curing
of the concrete.

porous concrete can dry out very


rapidly if not quickly covered with
plastic sheeting. Curing is vital to
the continued hydration, and resistance to abrasion, of the top surface.
The level of compaction must be
considered in the design of the mixture. Too much compaction can reduce the air voids to below 15 percent and plug the flow channels.
Too little compaction will leave the
structure with very high air voids
resulting in low strength and a raveling surface. Compact test specimens to the same density as will be
obtained in the field. It may take
sorne experimenting to obtain comparable compaction in the field and
laboratory.
The CSA Canadian
Standard s have sorne information
on how this can be done.
No-fines pervious concrete is a
viable option for automobile parking lots in warm climate areas.
There is concern that this lower
strength concrete will not stand up
well where frequent truck or bus
traffic may be involved. Regular
normal-weight concrete should be
used for bus or truck lanes in parking lots and also in areas with frequent abrasion or turning maneuverso The use of no-fines concrete in
surface courses should be confined
to automobile parking areas or
other light duty uses.

Conclusions
It appears that at least 15 percent
air void content is required to obtain the needed percolation in nofines concrete. A water-cement ratio in the range of 0.35 to 0.45 does
a better job of coating the coarse
aggregate without causing too much
balling in the mixer or , at the opposite extreme, being so wet that
the paste tends to run off the aggregateo
Construction methods are critical
to proper performance. Sorne compaction is needed during placement
and the coarse aggregate on the top
surface needs to be properly seated
to reduce ravelling of the surface.
Curing is very important since the
August 1988

,.\~

bl'

,.

..

.1:....

11~~.:~

~~:ii~~
..'.....'
~ .~
'..

,t

'r...

1... L~,,\~u.
Fig. 18 - Proper compaction and
curing gives a tight surface.
ACI member Rich
ard C. Meininger
is Vice President of
Research of the
National
Ready
Mixed Concrete
Association
and
the National Aggregates Association, Silver Spring, Maryland. These
associations sponsor the NAA-NRMCA
Joint Research Laboratory in College
Park, Maryland, where this research
was conducted. He is a member of the
ACI Technical Activities Committee,
and Committees 211, Proportioning
Mixtures, 221, Aggregates, and 226,
Fly Ash, other Pozzolans, and Slag.
Mr. Meininger was a recipient of the
ACI Construction Practice Award in
1984.
27