The techniques necessary for placing concrete depend on the type of member to be cast: that is, whether it is a column, a bean, a wall, a slab, a foundation, a mass column, or an extension of previously placed and hardened concrete. For beams, columns, and walls, the forms should be well oiled after cleaning them, and the reinforcement should be cleared of rust and other harmful materials. In foundations, the earth should be compacted and thoroughly moistened to about 6 inch in depth to avoid absorption of the moisture present in the wet concrete. Concrete should always be placed in horizontal layers which are compacted by means of high frequency power-driven vibrators of either the immersion or external type, as the case requires, unless it is placed by pumping. It must be kept in mind, however, that over vibration can be harmful since it could cause segregation of the aggregate and bleeding of the concrete.
Hydration of the cement takes place in the presence of moisture at temperatures above 50?F. It is
necessary to maintain such a condition in order that the chemical hydration reaction can take place. If drying is too rapid, surface cracking takes place. This would result in reduction of concrete strength due to cracking as well as the failure to attain full chemical hydration.
It is clear that a large number of parameters have to be dealt with in proportioning a reinforced concrete element, such as geometrical width, depth, area of reinforcement, steel strain, concrete strain, steel stress, and so on. Consequently, trial and adjustment is necessary in the choice of concrete sections, with assumptions based on conditions at site, availability of the constituent materials, particular demands of the owners, architectural and headroom requirements, the applicable codes, and environmental conditions. Such an array of parameters has to be considered because of the fact that reinforced concrete is often a site-constructed composite, in contrast to the standard mill-fabricated beam and column sections in steel structures.
A trial section has to be chosen for each critical location in a structural system. The trial section has to be analyzed to determine if its nominal resisting strength is adequate to carry the applied factored load. Since more than one trial is often necessary to arrive at the required section, the first design input step generates into a series of trial-and-adjustment analyses.
The trial-and-adjustment procedures for the choice of a concrete section lead to the convergence of analysis and design. Hence every design is an analysis once a trial section is chosen. The availability of handbooks, charts, and personal computers and programs supports this approach as a more efficient, compact, and speedy instructional method compared with the traditional approach of treating the analysis of reinforced concrete separately from pure design.