Important terminology used for Cement Concrete as per IS 6461

Planning to get your construction project done by a contractor? You will need IS 6461: 1972 while drafting a tender.

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Ever wondered where you can get all the terms related to concrete?

Well, your search is over. Refer to IS 6461: 1972.

The Bureau of Indian Standards is an apex body that publishes the Indian Standard codes to promote the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking, and quality certification of goods related to the construction industry. The Indian Standard (IS) codes are one such ready reference benchmarks for the construction industry.

Why use 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:

How to use IS 6461: 1972?

This IS code has 12 parts, and each covers one aspect of terms related to concrete.

Part 1 - Concrete Aggregates

This section mentions 61 terms related to concrete aggregate.

Part 2 - Materials (other than cement and aggregate)

This section describes 34 terms relevant to materials used in the construction industry. A few uncommon terms include:

Alabaster-A densely crystalline mineral rock which is a softly textured form of pure gypsum.

Barite - A mineral, barium sulfate ( BaSO, ), used in the pure or impure form as concrete aggregate primarily for the construction of high-density radiation shielding concrete.

Carbon Black - A finely divided amorphous carbon used to color concrete; produced by burning natural gas in a supply of air insufficient for combustion; characterized by a high oil absorption and low specific gravity.

Part 3 - Concrete Reinforcement

There are 120 terms related to reinforcement. A few definitions include:

Billet Steel -Steel, either reduced directly from ingots or continuously cast, made from properly identified. heats of open-hearth, basic oxygen, electric furnace steel, or lots of acids Bessemer steel and conforming to specified limits on chemical composition.

Pencil Rod - Plain metal rod of about 6 mm in diameter.

Stress Corrosion - Corrosion of metal accelerated by stress.

While going through any IS code, you will find reference IS codes mentioned in the footer section. So on page 11 of this part of the code, there is a reference to IS 2502 1963, which is a code of practice for bending and fixing of bars of concrete reinforcement.

Part 4 -Types of concrete

Part 4 is helpful in getting an idea of all the types of concrete used in the construction. For example, here is what clause 2.38 states about Terrazzo Concrete - "Marble-aggregate concrete that is a cast-in-place or precast and ground smooth for decorative surfacing purposes on floors and walls. " So if the tender mentions that the construction should be carried out using Terrazzo Concrete, you can quickly refer to this code and know how to prepare it.

Part 5 - Formwork for concrete

Want to start a formwork business?

Want to become a formwork specialist?

350 terms related to formwork are waiting for you in this part of the code!

Part 6 - Equipment, tools, and plant

As a site engineer, you should know the local name of the equipment, tools, and machinery, so that you can convey the instructions that laborers can understand, but you should also know the technical names so that you can draft a tender. But don't worry, if you are unaware of any term, come back to part 6 of the code.

By the way, do you know what is the technical name of the ball used to clean the pipe connected to the concrete pump? It's called Go-Devil. Here is the definition: A ball of rolled-up burlap, paper, or specially fabricated device put into the pump end of a pipeline and forced through the pipe by water pressure to clean the pipeline.

Part 7 - Mixing, laying, compaction, curing, and other construction aspects

This is an extensive A-Z list of terms related to the operational aspects of construction. Again, these terms are useful while drafting a tender.

Part 8 - Properties of concrete

This part of the code throws light on 86 concrete properties. You can refer to this code to get an idea of all the properties you want to take care of during research or while field application. Every engineer should know these 86 properties before stepping foot on the construction site(Although, most engineers don't!).

Part 9 - Structural Aspects

This part covers the terminology used in structural parts and should be a handy guide for any structural engineer.

Likewise, there is Part 10, 11, and 12 which cover tests and testing apparatus, pre-stressed concrete, and miscellaneous terms.

What use IS 6461: 1972?

As you know, the IS codes are the true north of the construction industry. In daily use, they can be helpful in defining the work process and directing the site engineer to get the work done.

IS codes are also used to draft contracts and tenders. This makes the work to be done smooth and needs little communication. Also, in case of any discrepancy, the parties can refer to the codes to understand the right procedure or right method, say the maximum height from which to place concrete on the site.

While considering quality aspects, part 10 of this code is quite helpful. It describes all the tests and testing apparatus related to cement concrete. There are around 80 tests the quality engineer can refer to, to add to the wisdom and increase the construction quality.

Apart from this code, two separate Indian Standards have been published describing terminology relating to hydraulic cement and pozzolanic materials. These standards are IS: 4845-1968 and IS: 4305-I967. Refer to these when needed.

But, as you know, being aware of concrete terminology is not enough. The real effort comes into the picture when an engineer needs to work in the field. He needs to take care of the construction quality. So how to determine the quality?

Again, IS codes can make the life of an engineer simple. The experts have already laid all the tests and best practices down in the code. They have arrived at these results after years of experimentation using trials and research. Indeed, it is a long-term team effort. Now, the only job of site engineers is to build quality structures with a collaborative effort.


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