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To assess the characteristics of a mix, there are any number of tests that can be performed on both the hardened and fresh concrete. Many are standardised and therefore allow comparison between mixes. Some are rarely used except in specific situations (penetration of liquid, gases and ions) where the client has specified a particular property. For the purpose of initial testing, methods to assess the fresh state and therefore placeability of the concrete are necessary (workability tests), and to assess the hardened characteristics (strength development for instance).
Test results can be compared with the specification and, importantly, the economics of the concrete to produce. It must also be remembered that there is another series of tests that can be carried out on the individual constituent materials prior to any mixing, the data from which is used in deciding the likely concrete proportions.
Acknowledgement: The Concrete Society
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