So what tests are typically run (or would be beneficial to conduct) on a smaller-size construction project? Here's a basic checklist:

ASTM C 172 Sampling Freshly Mixed Concrete
ASTM C 1064 Temperature of Freshly Mixed Concrete
ASTM C 143 Slump of Hydraulic-Cement Concrete
ASTM C 231 Air Content of Fresh Concrete by the Pressure Method
ASTM C 173 Air Content of Fresh Concrete by the Volumetric Method (Roll-o-meter)
ASTM C 138 Density (Unit Weight), Yield and Air Content of Concrete
ASTM C 31 Making and Curing Concrete Test Specimens in the Field

The list is not as long as it seems. If you work in the concrete industry, your work or your materials are likely to be affected by these test results. Each procedure or test method must be conducted properly and within the required time frame to be comparable. Fresh concrete tests run along with a set of compressive strength cylinders are: slump, air content, unit weight and temperature. Data from these tests is helpful in assessing mix production and consistency in performance. Although sampling and making and curing test specimens are not test methods per se, they are important practices because subsequent tests depend on the manner in which the concrete was sampled and the manner in which the test samples were made.

For more detailed information on these and other test procedures, visit www.astm.org. Another good resource is ACI 214, Recommended Practice for Evaluation of Strength Tests Results of Concrete, available from the American Concrete Institute.

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