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Construction
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MATERIALS

Construction and Building Materials 23 (2009) 703712

www.elsevier.com/locate/conbuildmat

Production of low cost self compacting concrete using bagasse ash


Tayyeb Akram, Shazim Ali Memon *, Humayun Obaid
National Institute of Transportation (NIT), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Risalpur Cantonment, Risalpur, N.W.F.P., Pakistan
Received 10 August 2007; received in revised form 2 February 2008; accepted 19 February 2008
Available online 18 April 2008

Abstract
Self compacting concrete (SCC) is a development of conventional concrete, in which the use of vibrator for compaction is no more
required. This property of self compacting concrete has made its use more attractive all over the world. But its initial higher supply cost
over conventional concrete, has hindered its application to general construction. Therefore, for producing low cost SCC, it is prudent to
look at the alternates to help reducing the SSC cost. This research is aimed at evaluating the usage of bagasse ash as viscosity modifying
agent in SCC, and to study the relative costs of the materials used in SCC.
In this research, the main variables are the proportion of bagasse ash, dosage of superplasticizer for owability and water/binder
ratio. The parameters kept constant are the amount of cement and water content.
Test results substantiate the feasibility to develop low cost self compacting concrete using bagasse ash. In the fresh state of concrete, the dierent mixes of concrete have slump ow in the range of 333 mm to 815 mm, L-box ratio ranging from 0 to 1 and ow
time ranging from 1.8 s to no ow (stucked). Out of twenty ve dierent mixes, ve mixes were found to satisfy the requirements
suggested by European federation of national trade associations representing producers and applicators of specialist building products (EFNARC) guide for making self compacting concrete. The compressive strengths developed by the self compacting concrete
mixes with bagasse ash at 28 days were comparable to the control concrete. Cost analysis showed that the cost of ingredients
of specic self compacting concrete mix is 35.63% less than that of control concrete, both having compressive strength above
34 MPa.
2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Self compacting concrete; Sugarcane; Bagasse; Bagasse ash; Compressive strength

1. Introduction
A self compacting concrete (SCC) is dened as a concrete that has excellent deformability and high resistance
to segregation and can be lled in heavily reinforced or
restricted area without applying vibration. SCC was developed in Japan [1] in the late 1980s, and recently, this concrete has gained wide use in many countries for dierent
applications and structural congurations [26].
Several dierent approaches have been used to develop
SCC. One method to achieve self-consolidating property
is to incorporate a viscosity modifying admixture (VMA)

Corresponding author. Tel.: +92 923 200123; fax: +92 923 631594.
E-mail address: shazim_memon@yahoo.com (S.A. Memon).

0950-0618/$ - see front matter 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2008.02.012

to enhance stability [79]. The use of VMA along with adequate concentration of superplasticizer (SP) can ensure
high deformability and adequate workability, leading to a
good resistance to segregation. However, viscosity modifying admixtures are very expensive and can increase the cost
of concrete.
One alternative approach to achieve self-consolidating
property is to increase signicantly the amount of ne
materials such as bagasse ash without increasing the
cost.
This paper presents the results of research aimed to
investigate the suitability of bagasse ash as a viscosity modifying agent in SCC. The utilization of bagasse ash in SCC
mix produced desired results, reduced cost, and also provided an environment friendly disposal of agro-industry
waste product.

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T. Akram et al. / Construction and Building Materials 23 (2009) 703712

2. Potential of bagasse usage in Pakistan


2.1. Sugarcane crop yield and sugar production
In order to assess the potential of bagasse ash production in Pakistan, it is imperative to evaluate the sugarcane
crop yield in the country. Table 1 shows the sugarcane crop
yield and its utilization from 1999 to 2004 [10]. From statistics, it is clear that from 2002 to 2004 that the annual
sugarcane produced is over 52 million tons. Approximately, 81% of the sugarcane is used in sugar industry
[11]. Each ton of sugarcane produces approximately 26%
of bagasse (at a moisture content of 50%) and 0.62% of

residual ash [12]. Therefore, Pakistan consumes approximately 42 million tons of sugarcane in the sugar manufacturing industry, and produces approximately 11 million
tons of bagasse, with a capacity of generating over 0.26
million tons of bagasse ash.
2.2. Cogeneration of electricity using bagasse
World Alliance for decentralized energy [13] highlighted
abundant opportunity for the wider use of bagasse-based
cogeneration in sugarcane producing countries. Yet this
potential remains largely unexploited in the worlds main
cane producing countries: Brazil, India, Thailand, Paki-

Table 1
Sugarcane yield in Pakistan during last ve years
Year

Province

Mills No.

Cane production
Million tons

Cane crushed
Million tons

Sugar production
Million tons

Recovery percentage

19992000

Punjab
Sind
NWFP
Balochistan
Total

37
25
5
0
67

25.00
12.10
4.90
0.04
42.04

16.83
10.86
1.30
0.00
28.99

1.316
0.996
0.103
0
2.415

7.8
9.2
7.9

Punjab
Sind
NWFP
Balochistan
Total

35
25
5
0
65

26.74
12.05
4.80
0.03
43.62

18.07
10.49
0.85
0.00
29.41

1.437
0.968
0.061
0
2.466

8.1

20012002

Punjab
Sind
NWFP
Balochistan
Total

37
27
5
0
69

31.80
11.42
4.79
0.04
48.05

25.25
10.16
1.29
0.00
36.07

2.152
0.941
0.105
0
3.198

8.5
9.3
8.1
0
8.6

20022003

Punjab
Sind
NWFP
Balochistan
Total

38
28
5
0
71

33.17
13.80
5.05
0.03
52.05

27.58
12.42
1.79
0.00
41.79

2.351
1.159
0.145
0
3.655

8.5
9.3
8.1
0
8.7

20032004

Punjab
Sind
NWFP
Balochistan
Total

38
28
5
0
71

34.42
14.61
4.75
0.04
53.82

28.60
12.99
2.07
0.00
43.66

2.599
1.221
0.176
0
3.996

9.1
9.4
8.5
0
9.5

20002001

8.3
8
9.2
7.2

Table 2
Global bagasse cogeneration market potential
Countries

Sugarcane production
(Million tons/year)

Share of global cane


production (%)

Potential for
electricity (GWh)

Present national
electricity demand
(TWh)

Bagasse cogeneration
potential as percentage
of electricity demand

Brazil
India
Thailand
Pakistan
Mexico
Colombia
Cuba
Philippines

366.32
290.00
74.07
52.05
45.12
38.80
34.70
25.83

28.60
21.48
5.49
3.88
3.34
2.71
2.57
1.91

38.62
29.00
7.47
5.20
4.51
3.88
3.47
2.58

335.90
497.20
90.91
62.27
186.70
39.81
13.38
42.04

11.50
5.83
8.15
8.36
2.42
9.91
25.93
6.15

Total

944.62

69.96

94.48

1268.21

7.45

T. Akram et al. / Construction and Building Materials 23 (2009) 703712

705

Table 3
Mix design of concrete mixes
Mix
design

Water/binder
ratio

Water
(kg/m3)

Cement
(kg/m3)

Bagasse
ash
(kg/m3)

Fine
aggregate
(kg/m3)

Coarse
aggregate
(kg/m3)

Sikament NN
(% by weight
of binder)

Sika Viscocrete-1
(% by weight
of binder)

CC2SP
CC2.5SP
CC3SP
CC3.5SP
CC4SP

0.45
0.45
0.45
0.45
0.45

225
225
225
225
225

500
500
500
500
500

875
875
875
875
875

750
750
750
750
750

2
2.5
3
3.5
4

2
2
2
2
2

5B2SP
5B2.5SP
5B3SP
5B3.5SP
5B4SP

0.43
0.43
0.43
0.43
0.43

225
225
225
225
225

500
500
500
500
500

25
25
25
25
25

875
875
875
875
875

750
750
750
750
750

2
2.5
3
3.5
4

10B2SP
10B2.5SP
10B3SP
10B3.5SP
10B4SP

0.41
0.41
0.41
0.41
0.41

225
225
225
225
225

500
500
500
500
500

50
50
50
50
50

875
875
875
875
875

750
750
750
750
750

2
2.5
3
3.5
4

15B2SP
15B2.5SP
15B3SP
15B3.5SP
15B4SP

0.39
0.39
0.39
0.39
0.39

225
225
225
225
225

500
500
500
500
500

75
75
75
75
75

875
875
875
875
875

750
750
750
750
750

2
2.5
3
3.5
4

20B2SP
20B2.5SP
20B3SP
20B3.5SP
20B4SP

0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37
0.37

225
225
225
225
225

500
500
500
500
500

100
100
100
100
100

875
875
875
875
875

750
750
750
750
750

2
2.5
3
3.5
4

Second generation of superplasticizer, used as high range water reducing admixture, from sika construction chemicals, Switzerland.
Third generation of superplasticizer, used as viscosity modifying agent, from sika construction chemicals, Switzerland.
c
This particular designation represents control concrete mix made by incorporating viscosity modifying admixture and having 2% of superplasticizer by
weight of binder content.
d
In 5B2SP, 5B refers to the percentage of the bagasse ash by weight of binder content and 2SP refers to the amount of superplasticizer in percent by
weight of binder content. This particular designation represents mix having 5% of bagasse ash with 2% of superplasticizer by weight of binder content.
b

stan, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia and Philippines. The major


sugarcane producing countries and their bagasse cogeneration potentials are enumerated in Table 2. Bagasse cogeneration could account for almost 26% of Cubas national
electricity demand. Similarly, bagasse cogeneration could
account for over 8% of Pakistans national electricity
demand. In rst phase, Government of Pakistan has

approved 700 MW electricity generation using bagasse as


fuel [14]. The decision would result in production of large
amount of ash and associated problem of its disposal. It
further highlights the importance of evaluation, regarding
environment friendly utilization of bagasse ash by the concrete industry in Pakistan.
3. Experimental investigation

Table 4
Chemical and physical properties of cementitious materials
Chemical composition (%)

OPC

Bagasse ash

Silicon dioxide (SiO2)


Aluminum oxide (Al2O3)
Ferric oxide (Fe2O3)
Calcium oxide (CaO)
Magnesium oxide (MgO)
Sulfur trioxide (SO3)
Sodium oxide (Na2O)
Potassium oxide (K2O)
Moisture content
Loss on ignition
Physical property
Specic gravity

19.00
09.87
03.46
60.00
01.63
02.63
00.84
01.19

01.03
OPC
3.10

62.44
6.74
5.77
6.16
2.97
0.72
3.15
6.87
2.6
2.58
Bagasse ash
2.22

For the entire experiment work, twenty ve dierent


mixes were prepared. These include ve control concrete
mixes and twenty mixes with dierent proportions of
bagasse ash. The experimental matrix for the mix design
is summarized in Table 3.
3.1. Materials
Through out the experimental work ordinary Portland
cement conrming to ASTM C150 [15] was used. The
chemical and physical properties of cement are tabulated
in Table 4.

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T. Akram et al. / Construction and Building Materials 23 (2009) 703712

The sieve analysis of ne and coarse aggregate was performed in accordance with ASTM C136-04 [16]. The
results of sieve analysis of ne and coarse aggregate as
compared with the requirement of ASTM C33-03 [17] are
shown in Figs. 1 and 2. The physical properties of ne
and coarse aggregate are summarized in Table 5.
To achieve superior workability and placeability, high
range water reducing concrete admixture, Sikament NN
was used. The dosage of superplasticizer was varied from
2% to 4% by weight of binder content. The technical data
of Sikament NN is illustrated in Table 6.
For control concretes, Sika Viscocrete-1 was used as viscosity modifying agent. It is a third generation of superplasticizer and meets the requirements for superplasticizer
according to SIA 162 (1989) and prEN 934-2. The dosage
of superplasticizer was kept as 2% by weight of binder content. The technical data of Sika Viscocrete-1 is illustrated in
Table 6.

Table 6
Technical data of Sikament NN and Sika Viscocrete 1

Type
Appearance
Density (kg/l)

Sikament NN

Sika Viscocrete-1

Naphthalene formaldehyde
sulphonate
Dark brown
1.2

Modied polycarboxylate
Green liquid
1.1

Fig. 3. L-box apparatus.

Fig. 1. Grading of ne aggregate.

Fig. 2. Grading of coarse aggregate.

Table 5
Physical properties of ne and coarse aggregate
Unit weight
(Kg/m3)

Bulk specic gravity


(SSD)

Absorption

Fineness
modulus

1953.54
1529.28

2.671
2.678

1.65
1.07

2.62

Fig. 4. V-funnel apparatus.

T. Akram et al. / Construction and Building Materials 23 (2009) 703712

For mixes other than control concrete, bagasse ash from


Premier sugar mills, Pakistan, was used as viscosity modifying agent. The chemical and physical properties of
bagasse ash are tabulated in Table 4.

707

by using compaction factor apparatus as described by Neville [18]. Compressive strength of cylinders at 7 and 28 days
was carried out according to ASTM C39 [19]. Brief explanation and illustration of L-box and V-funnel test is given
below.

3.2. Specimens designation


The various mixes used in this experimental program are
abbreviated in two dierent forms, namely CC2SP and
5B2SP. In case of CC2SP, CC refers to the control concrete
mix made by incorporating viscosity modifying admixture
and 2SP refers to the amount of superplasticizer in percent
by weight of binder content. This particular designation
represents control concrete mix made by incorporating viscosity modifying admixture and having 2% of superplasticizer by weight of binder content.
Similarly, in 5B2SP, 5B refers to the percentage of the
bagasse ash by weight of binder content and 2SP refers
to the amount of superplasticizer in percent by weight of
binder content. This particular designation represents mix
having 5% of bagasse ash with 2% of superplasticizer by
weight of binder content.
3.3. Testing of specimens
For each mix, slump ow, L-box and V-funnel test were
carried out. The density of fresh concrete was determined

3.3.1. L-box test


It assesses lling and passing ability of SCC. The apparatus is shown in Fig. 3. The vertical section is lled with
concrete, and then gate lifted to let the concrete ow into
the horizontal section. When the ow has stopped, the
heights H1 and H2 are measured as shown in Fig. 3. Closer to unity value of ratio H2/H1 indicates better ow of
concrete [20].
3.3.2. V-funnel test
The test measures owability and segregation resistance
of concrete. The apparatus is shown in Fig. 4. At rst, the
test assembly is set rmly on the ground and the inside surfaces are moistened. The trap door is closed and a bucket is
placed underneath. Then the apparatus is completely lled
with concrete without compacting. After lling the concrete, the trap door is opened and the time for the discharge
is recorded. This is taken to be when light is seen from
above through the funnel. To measure the ow time at
T5 min, the trap door is closed and V-funnel is relled immediately. The trap door is opened after 5 min and the time

Fig. 5. Bagasse ash vs. slump with dierent percentage of superplastizer.

708

T. Akram et al. / Construction and Building Materials 23 (2009) 703712

Fig. 6. Bagasse ash vs. L-box ratio with dierent percentage of superplastizer.

Fig. 7. Bagasse ash vs. V-funnel ow with dierent percentage of superplastizer *Mix 20B2SP was stucked.

T. Akram et al. / Construction and Building Materials 23 (2009) 703712

for the discharge is recorded. This is the ow time at T5 min.


Shorter ow time indicate greater owability [20].
4. Test results and discussions
4.1. Properties of fresh SCC
Properties of freshly mixed concrete were tested for qualifying within the specied EFNARC range of SCC [20].
4.1.1. Slump ow test
The slump ow for all control concrete mixes were
within the EFNARC range of SCC, whereas, for SCC
mixes with bagasse ash, the slump ow was between 333
mm to 815 mm, which have exceeded both the minimum
and maximum range. The results of slump ow show that
the ow increased with the increase in the quantity of
superplasticizer used for owability. Proportionally, the
ow decreased with the increased quantity of bagasse
ash. Slump ow results are shown in Fig. 5.
4.1.2. L-box test
While testing the concrete for passing ability, few of the
mixes were so viscous that they could not even reach the
other end of the horizontal section of the L-box, whereas,
majority of the mixes passed through the bars very easily

709

and without any blockage. The results of L-box test show


that the ratio of L-box increased with the increase in the
quantity of superplasticizer used for owability. Proportionally, the ratio decreased with the increased quantity
of bagasse ash. The experimental readings achieved in the
L-box test were from 0 to 1. L-box test results are shown
in Fig. 6.
4.1.3. V-funnel test
As far as lling ability of the mixes was concerned, most
of the results of V-funnel tests remained more towards the
minimum range or even lesser. This showed more lling
ability but less viscous mix. But as the quantity of bagasse
ash was increased, the viscosity of the mix started increasing. V-funnel test results are shown in Fig. 7.
4.1.4. V-funnel at T5 min test
V-funnel at T5 min test shows the potential to segregation
resistance. The results of this test remained very encouraging and within the EFNARC range. V-funnel at T5 min test
results are shown in Fig. 8.
Properties of freshly mixed concrete, which qualied all
the four tests range limits, were ve in numbers. Among
them were 10B2.5SP, 15B2.5SP, 15B3SP, 20B3.5SP and
20B4SP. The concrete mixes which remained very close
to the EFNARC range were also ve. They were CC2SP,

Fig. 8. Bagasse ash vs. V-funnel at T5 min with dierent percentage of superplastizer *Mix 15B2SP and 20B2SP were stucked.

710

T. Akram et al. / Construction and Building Materials 23 (2009) 703712

Fig. 9. Superplastizer vs. compressive strength with dierent percentage of bagasse ash.

Fig. 10. Bagasse ash vs. compressive strength with dierent percentage of superplastizer.

T. Akram et al. / Construction and Building Materials 23 (2009) 703712

5B2.5SP, 5B3SP, 10B3SP and 10B3.5SP. Four mixes were


totally out of the range for all four tests. They were
10B2SP, 15B2SP, 20B2SP and 20B2.5SP.

711

irrespective of the fact that the mix was within the EFNARC range or not.
4.3. Density of hardened SCC

4.2. Compressive strength of SCC


The compressive strengths of 25 mixes for 7 and 28 days
are graphically in Figs. 9 and 10. From Fig. 9, it is clear
that among the ve control concrete mixes, the control
concrete CC2SP developed highest compressive strength
of 37.71 MPa at 28 days. As compared with the mixes
which contained bagasse ash, two mixes showed higher
strengths than that of control concrete at 28 days
(Fig. 10). They were 15B2SP and 20B2SP having 39.59
and 37.93 MPa respectively. Increase in strength is due to
reduced water/binder ratio, dense particle packing, pore
size renement and grain-size renement. 20B4SP mix
had shown the lowest strength of 19.03 MPa at 28 days,
although it had a reduced water/binder ratio. The only difference was of the dosage of superplasticizer. More the dosage of superplasticizer than the required quantity, lesser the
strength would be. Mixes with lesser dosage of superplasticizer showed more compressive strength at 7 and 28 days

Densities of all the mixes are shown graphically in


Fig. 11. The density increased with the increase in the content of bagasse ash and reached the maximum value when
15% of bagasse ash was used. This is due to micro ller
eect caused by bagasse ash. The decrease in density of
the mix, containing 20% of bagasse ash, may be because
of the reason that pores present in the concrete were completely lled by bagasse ash when 15% bagasse ash was
used. Since, density is a function of specic gravity and specic gravity of bagasse ash is less than that of cement therefore density of the mix decreased when bagasse ash took
the place of cement after lling all the pores in the concrete.
4.4. Comparison of cost analysis
Cost analysis of the materials used, has been analyzed as
per the purchased price from the market (as of February
2006). The mixes selected for calculation and analysis were
those which could pass maximum properties of freshly

Fig. 11. Bagasse ash vs. density of hardsmed concrete with dierent percentage of superplastizer.

712

T. Akram et al. / Construction and Building Materials 23 (2009) 703712

Table 7
Comparison of the cost analysis
Material

Unit costa(PKR)

Control concrete (CC2.5SP)


3

Cement (kg)
Coarse aggregate (kg)
Sand (kg)
Superplasticizer (Sikament NN) (L)
Superplasticizer (Sika viscocrete 1) (L)
Bagasse ash (kg)
Total
Percent reduction in cost = 35.63
a

6
0.198
0.105
69
247.25
Free of cost

SCC with bagasse ash (15B2.5SP)

Quantity (kg/m )

Amount (PKR)

Quantity (kg/m3)

Amount (PKR)

500
750
875
12.5
10

3000
148.5
91.87
862.5
2472.5

6575.37

500
750
875
14.375

75

3000
148.5
91.87
991.875

4232.245

PKR stands for Pakistani rupee.

mixed concrete and also had almost same and reasonable


compressive strengths. Keeping these criteria, the mixes
selected were CC2.5SP, among the control concrete mixes,
and 15B2.5SP, among the mixes containing bagasse ash.
The detailed calculations are summarized in Table 7. It is
clear that the cost of ingredients of specic SCC containing
bagasse ash is 35.63% less than the control concrete.

[7]

[8]

[9]

5. Conclusions

[10]

Based on the experimental results, following conclusions


can be drawn.

[11]

 The possibility of developing low cost SCC using


bagasse ash is feasible. Low cost SCC can be made, by
incorporating some percentage of bagasse ash along
with the main ingredients of concrete (cement, ne
aggregate and coarse aggregate) and superplasticizer
for owability.
 In fresh state, some of the mix results values were out of
the EFNARC range and therefore before casting the
concrete, the properties of freshly mixed concrete must
be checked for SCC.
 The utilization of bagasse ash in SCC solves the problem
of its disposal thus keeping the environment free from
pollution.
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