Concrete Mix Design (IS 10262 : 2009)
For proper concrete mix design, the following thirteen (13) points of data are required:
 Type of cement;
 Grade designation:
 Minimum cement content;
 Maximum cement content;
 Maximum watercement ratio;
 Maximum nominal size of aggregate;
 Workability;
 Exposure conditions (Table 4 and Table 5 of IS 456);
 The maximum temperature of concrete at the time of placing;
 Method of transporting and placing;
 Early age strength requirements (if necessary):
 Type of aggregate;
 Whether an admixture shall or shall not be used, the type of admixture, and the use condition.
Procedure for concrete mix design requires following seven (7) step by step process:
 Target strength of concrete calculation
 Watercement ratio selection
 Selection of water content
 Selection of cement content
 Aggregate ratio calculation
 Calculation of aggregate content
 Trial mixes to test strength of concrete mix design
I. Target Strength of Concrete Calculation
Target strength is denoted by f_{t}. Target strength is obtained by adding the characteristic compressive strength of concrete at 28 days denoted by f_{ck} and value of standard deviation denoted by (s).
f_{t }= f_{ck} + 1.65 s
The standard deviation (s) can be found by using the table below based on the grade of concrete.
Grade of concrete  Standard deviation (N/mm^{2}) 
M10  3.5 
M15  3.5 
M20  4.0 
M25  4.0 
M30  5.0 
M35  5.0 
M40  5.0 
M45  5.0 
M50  5.0 
II: WaterCement Ratio Selection
Watercement ratio is the ratio of the weight of water to the weight of the cement in the concrete mix. This is a very important part of concrete mix design in order to make the concrete feasible. From the below curve, the watercement ratio is selected for twentyeight (28) days characteristic compressive strength of concrete.
Ratio of the weight of water to weight of cement in the concrete mix is watercement ratio. It is the important consideration in concrete mix design to make the concrete workable. Water cement ratio is selected from the below curve for 28 days characteristic compressive strength of concrete.
Graph: WaterCement Ratio Selection for Concrete Mix Design
In a similar fashion, we can determine the watercement ratio from the 7day concrete strength. You can observe this in the graph below. The curves (A through F) are determined on the basis of the strength from the watercement ratio.
Graph: Concrete Compressive Strength vs. WaterCement Ratio
III: Selection of Water Content
In the below table, select the water content to get required workability with the help of nominal maximum size of aggregate. Use the table below only when angular shaped aggregates are used in the concrete. Furthermore, the slump should be between 25 and 50mm.
Nominal Maximum Size of Aggregate  Maximum Water Content 
10mm  208 
20mm  186 
40mm  165 
The adjustments below must be made if the shape of aggregate or slump value differs from the above table.
If This Condition  Make This Adjustment 
SubAngular Aggregate 
Reduce the selected value by 10% 
Crushed Stone Gravel 
Reduce the selected value by 20kg 
Rounded Gravel 
Reduce the selected value by 25kg 
Plasticizer Used 
Decrease the selected value by 510% 
Superplasticizer Used 
Decrease the selected value by 2030% 
For Each 25mm of Slump Increment 
Increase the selected value by 3% 
IV: Selection of Cement Content
In Step II, we determined the watercement ratio. The quantity of water is determined in Step III. With these two conditions, we can now easily calculate the quantity of cement for concrete. However, the value must satisfy the minimum conditions set forth in the below table.
Cement Content for Reinforced Concrete
Exposure 
Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) 

Minimum Cement Content in Kg/m^{3} 
Maximum Free WaterCement Ratio 
Minimum Grade of Concrete 

Mild 
300 
0.55 
M20 
Moderate 
300 
0.5 
M25 
Severe 
320 
0.45 
M30 
Very severe 
340 
0.45 
M35 
Extreme 
360 
0.4 
M40 
V. Aggregate Ratio Calculation
Using the nominal maximum size of aggregate, we can calculate the ratio of volume of coarse aggregate and volume of total aggregate for different zones of fine aggregate. Use the table below to do so.
Nominal maximum size of aggregate 
Ratio of volume of coarse aggregate and volume of total aggregate for different zones of fine aggregate 

Zone 1 
Zone 2 
Zone 3 
Zone 4 

10mm 
0.44 
0.46 
0.48 
0.50 
20mm 
0.6 
0.62 
0.64 
0.66 
40mm 
0.69 
0.71 
0.73 
0.75 
VI: Calculation of Aggregate Content
We have now determined the coarse aggregate volume ratio in the total aggregate volume. Using the volume of coarse aggregate will can easily learn the volume of fine aggregate.
The following formulae can be used to find the volume of fine and coarse aggregates.
The Formula for Mass of Fine Aggregate:
The Formula for the Mass of Coarse Aggregate:
Using the following variables:
V = volume of concrete
W = water content
C = cement content
Gc = sp. Gravity of cement
P = aggregate ration obtained in step VI
FA & CA = Masses of Fine Aggregates and Coarse Aggregates
VII: Trial Mixes to Test Strength of Concrete Mix Design
Complete a trial test by making at least three 150mm sized cubes based on the values achieved from the previous steps. Test the three cubes to determine whether the required strength was achieved. Make the proper adjustments if the strength needed was not correct.
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