Here is an overview of IS 4926: 2003 on Ready Mix Concrete
Concrete, as you know, is a mixture of cement, aggregate, admixtures, and water. It is one of the most widely used materials in the world.
Making a concrete mix is a strenuous operation. One needs to setup the mixing plant, source all the materials, hire engineers to prepare a mix design. And if the concreting work has to be carried in a narrow gully, how will you make it happen?
Ready mix design here turns out to be a boon for Indian construction industry.
Ready mix concrete is manufactured in a batch plant, according to a set recipe, and then delivered to a work site using tremix trucks. No need to look after the technicalities of preparing the mix.
RMC is also a convenient and efficient solution for construction projects, particularly the large ones that demand a huge volume of concrete. The practicalities of RMC has made it a go-to application for construction projects. Some common uses of ready-mix concrete include:
- Structural elements - Columns and beams.
- Slabs - For driveways, patios, and sidewalks.
- Walls - Create both load-bearing walls and decorative walls.
- Building foundations - Easily poured into forms and will set quickly.
- Bridges - Durable enough to withstand the weight of vehicles passing over it.
- Concrete blocks - Commonly used in the construction of walls and foundations.
Now the question is, what ensures the proper approach when it comes to RMC? Is there a guidebook that will help understand everything related to RMC in general? Yes, the Indian Standard Code of Practice, IS 4926:2003 provides guidelines for the production, transportation, and use of Ready Mix Concrete.
But is it trustworthy?
The Bureau of Indian Standards publishes codes like these for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking, and quality certification of goods. These codes are prepared after extensive research done across the country by reputed construction companies and organizations. The IS codes are freely available in public resources and can be downloaded from the internet.
Why use IS 4926: 2003?
The BIS prepared this code to ensure the quality control standards of ready mix concrete and to provide guidance for its use in construction projects. The code outlines the requirements for the production process and transportation of ready mix concrete, as well as the testing and concrete's acceptance criteria.
Another key objective of this code is to ensure the safety of personnel working with RMC, the quality of the finished product, and to reduce costs associated with the use of ready mix concrete.
The code also provides requirements for the management of ready mix concrete production and delivery, including a system to track the production process and transport of the concrete.
In short, the IS 4926 is a ready-reference guidebook to help you out in everything related to RMC. Let's look at some key highlights to better understand what this code is all about.
Why did BIS come up with IS 6461: 1972?
Concrete technology is a vast domain with numerous terms and technical concepts. One can get confused, for example, about what aggregate to call coarse and which one is fine. To not get into the dilemma, the Bureau of Indian Standards came up with IS 6461 in the year 1972.
The code contains all the terms related to concrete and materials that come under concrete technology. So, the next time someone asks who decides what to call coarse and what to fine, point out IS 6461: 1972.
Now, let's understand the outline of the code in brief:
Key Highlights from the code
The code is divided into 12 sections, each covering one aspect of the RMC process. Here is the brief overview:
The code covers the materials, equipment, and quality control measures that are required for the production of ready mix concrete, as well as the transportation and handling of the concrete at the construction site. Note that the placing, compaction, curing, or protection of concrete after delivery is outide the scope of this code.
This section highlights all the referred codes while preparing this code
This section gives you key definitions related to RMC
In this section, you take a tour on materials, their selection and approval, and guidelines
This part of the code lays down the foundation of business ethics. Here are few takeaways, details of which you will find in the code.
Supply should be in accordance with the agreed requirement. Generally, the supplied concrete is to be complied with IS 456. The unit of measurement should be in cubic metre.
The general requirement is that the concrete should be discharged from the truck mixer within 2 hours of time of loading.
6. Sampling and testing of Ready Mix Concrete
This section covers point and time of sampling, workability, strength, compliance, and non-compliance.
7. Information the purchaser should provide
This section cover the job to be done by the purchaser which includes design mixes (format of which is shared in Annex D) and prescribed mixes.
8. Information the producer must provide
This section focuses on details about the producer's responsibilities. Here's the brief:
The producer shall provide the purchaser with the following information before supplying concrete on the site:
a. Nature and source of individual constituent material
b. Source of cement supply, and
c. Quantity of each constituent per meter cube of fresh concrete.
Other sections of the code that are necessary while entering a contract with the RMC supplier could be found in section 9,10,11,12, which are:
- Production and delivery
- Quality control
- Order processing
Finally, there is a section 13 that covers the compliance part of the RMC business. This section makes your legal work easy if any discrepancy happens at a later stage of the construction and maintenance. This section is about maintaining the records.
The code suggests following compliance requirements:
Records to be maintained for a period of at least 1 year
Records shall cover the following aspects:
a) Production and delivery:
- Batching instructions,
- Batching records,
- Delivery tickets, and
- Equipment calibration and plant maintenance.
b) Materials and production control:
- Concrete production and materials purchase, usage and stocks, and
- Certificates or test results for materials.
c) Production quality control test results
The code also has Annexures that details about requirements, procedures, and documentation templates for smooth operation of RMC process
List of Annexures
- Annex A - List of IS code referred
- Annex B - Material testing requirements
- Annex C - Sampling of concrete
- Annex D - Concrete mix information the purchaser should provide
- Annex E - Callibration and weighing equipment accuracy
- Annex F - Routine maintenance checks for plant and equipments
- Annex G - Delivery ticket information
After getting an idea of the RMC and its process, are you thinking of switching to Ready Mix? If still unsure, here are advantages of RMC for you:
Advantages of using Ready Mix Concrete
One of the main advantages of using ready mix concrete is the consistent quality of the product. The concrete is produced in a controlled environment, using carefully measured quantities of cement, water, and aggregates, and is subject to strict quality control measures to ensure that it meets the specified strength and durability requirements. The use of ready mix concrete also reduces the risk of errors in the mixing process, as the concrete is prepared by trained and experienced personnel using state-of-the-art equipment.
Another advantage of ready mix concrete is the convenience of delivery. Truck-mounted transit mixers, which can access even the most remote and difficult-to-reach locations, deliver the concrete to the construction site. The concrete can be delivered in small or large quantities, depending on the needs of the project, and can be delivered at the required time and place to minimize delays and disruptions to the construction schedule.
The IS Code of Practice for Ready Mix Concrete (IS 4926:2003) provides detailed guidance on the production, transportation, and use of ready mix concrete, including the materials, equipment, and quality control measures that are required to ensure the consistent quality and performance of the concrete. It is an essential reference for anyone involved in the production, transportation, or use of ready mix concrete in India.
Ready mix concrete is popular in the construction industry as it saves time without compromising on quality.
Want to start an RMC business? Go thoroughly through the code. If you follow the right approach, you might get a good return on investment from this business.
And what if you are on the client's side? How to ensure you get the work done smoothly?
Rigorously follow the instructions shared in the IS code 4926: 2003
Your next step would be to maintain the equivalent quality standards at the site. For that, your team needs to follow robust quality practices. We at digiQC can help you make that happen.
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