Master of Science in Engineering Science (MSES)


Engineering Science (Interdepartmental Program)

Document Type



Self-compacting concrete, also referred to as self-consolidating concrete, is able to flow and consolidate under its own weight and is deaerated almost completely while flowing in the formwork. It is cohesive enough to fill the spaces of almost any size and shape without segregation or bleeding. This makes SCC particularly useful wherever placing is difficult, such as in heavily-reinforced concrete members or in complicated workforms. The objectives of this research were to compare the Splitting Tensile Strength and Compressive Strength values of self-compacting and normal concrete specimens and to examine the bonding between the coarse aggregate and the cement paste using the Scanning Electron Microscope. Cylinder specimens (8" by 4") were tested for Splitting Tensile and Compressive Strength after 28 days of standard curing, in order find out if self-compacting concrete would show an increase in these strengths and a better bonding between aggregate and cement paste, compared to normal concrete. The mix design used for making the concrete specimens was based on previous research work from literature. The water - cement ratios varied from 0.3 to 0.6 while the rest of the components were kept the same, except the chemical admixtures, which were adjusted for obtaining the self-compactability of the concrete. All SCC mixtures exhibited greater values in both splitting tensile and compressive strength after being tested, compared to normal concrete. The splitting tensile strength increased by approximately 30%, whilst the compressive strength was around 60% greater. In addition, the SCC tensile strengths after 7 days were almost as high as those obtained after 28 days for normal concrete. This was possible due to the use of mineral and chemical admixtures, which usually improve the bonding between aggregate and cement paste, thus increasing the strength of concrete. Images taken from concrete samples having water-cement ratios of 0.3, 0.4, and 0.6, using the Scanning Electron Microscope, have shown that the widths of the physical interface microcracks were greater for normal concrete than for self-compacting concrete, which implies that the aggregate-cement bonds were better for SCC than for normal concrete.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Linbing Wang