Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Irtishad Ahmad

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nestor Gomez

Third Advisor's Name

Luis Prieto-Portar

Date of Defense



The objective of this research was to investigate the reason lumps occur in high-slump concrete and develop adequate batching procedures for a lumps-free high-slump ready-mix concrete mix used by the Florida Department of Transportation. Cement balls are round lumps of cement, sand, and coarse aggregate, typically about the size of a baseball that frequently occur in high-slump concrete. Such lumps or balls jeopardize the structural integrity of structural members.

Experiments were conducted at the CSR Rinker concrete plant in Miami, Florida, based on a protocol developed by a team of Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) concrete engineers, Rinker personnel, and Florida International University faculty. A total of seventeen truckloads were investigated in two phases, between April 2001 and March 2002. The tests consisted of gathering data by varying load size, discharge rate, headwater content, and mixing revolutions.

The major finding was that a usual load size and discharge rate, an initial headwater ratio of 30%, and an initial number of revolutions of 100 at 12 revolutions per minute seem to produce a lump-free high-slump concrete. It was concluded that inadequate mixing and batching procedures caused cement lumps. Recommendations regarding specific load size, discharge rates, number of mixing revolutions, and initial water content are made. Clear guidelines for a high-slump concrete batching protocol can be developed, with further testing based on these research conclusions.




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