The project titled “The effect of admixtures on properties of concrete: case study of sugar, cow bone ash, groundnut shell ash, and lime stone powder” was carried out with the aim of knowing the effect the of the various types of admixtures used on the properties of concrete, in term of the workability of concrete, durability of concrete and the concrete strength. 

The material used are cow bone ash, groundnut shell ash, sugar and lime stone powder. The cow bone was sourced along Sobi road, Akerebiata area, Ilorin East local government area and the groundnut shell was sourced from Oja-Oba, Ilorin west local government. The cow bone was sun –dried after careful separation from flesh, tissues and fats, the ash was carried out by incinerating the bone at a temperature of 900⁰C in a furnace. Also the groundnut shell ash was obtained by burning groundnut shell on an iron sheet in the open air under normal temperature while sugar and lime stone powder were bought from market (chemical store) along Taiwo road, Ilorin Kwara state. The method adopted was; batching of concrete materials, mixing of concrete materials, production of cubes, curing of cubes (for 14days and 28days) while the test carried out during and after the concrete cubes are produced or casted are; sieve analysis test, slump test and compressive strength test.

From the sieve analysis test carried out on both fine and coarse aggregates, it was discovered that the coefficient of uniformity (Cu) obtained are less than 4, hence they are both “well-graded” aggregates. The slump test shows that there is increase in the slump value from sugar-concrete, GSA-concrete, CBA-concrete and LP-concrete, likewise the compressive strength test increases from sugar-concrete, GSA-concrete, CBA-concrete and LP-concrete.

Based on the result of this investigation, the conclusion I made was that admixtures affect properties of concrete like its slump value, density, compressive strength, etc  and that admixtures generally decreases the slump value of concrete which in turns decrease the workability of the concrete.I there by recommend that further research should be carried out using 20%-50% of LP, CBA and GSA as admixture at an interval of 10% for the same experiment. Also the experiment should be carried out using some other mix ratio like 1:3:6, 1:4:8 and soon.


Title Page i

Declaration ii

Certification iii

Dedication iv

Acknowledgement v

Abstract vi

Table of Contents vii

List of Tables            x

List of Figures xi

List of Plates xii


1.0 Introduction   1

1.1 Statement of the Problem    2

1.2 Aims and Objectives of the Study    3

1.3 Justification of the Study    3

1.4 Scope of the Study    4


2.0 literature Review     5 

2.1 Concrete in Practice     6

2.2 Types of Admixtures      9

2.3 Selected Agent      12

2.4 Material for concrete       16

2.4.1 Aggregates           16

2.4.2 Cement 18 Physical Properties of Cement 19

2.4.3    Water 21 Quality of Water 22 Properties of Water 22

2.4.4 Curing 22


3.0 Project Methodology 24

3.1 Procurement of Material 25

3.2 Preparation of Material 26

3.3 Material Used 27

3.4 Batching of concrete 28

3.5 Mixing of Concrete 32

3.6 Tests 33

3.6.1 Sieve Analysis Test 33

3.6.2 Slump Test 34

3.7 Production of Cubes 38

3.8 Curing of Cubes 38

3.9 Compressive Strength Test on Concrete Cubes 39

3.9.1   Procedure for Compressive Strength Test 41


4.0 Results Analysis 42

4.1 Sieve Analysis Test Result 42

4.2 Slump Test Result 46

4.3 Discussion on the Result 66


5.0   Conclusion 69

5.1 Recommendation 70

Reference 71


Table 4.1: Data Analysis for Fine Aggregates (Sand) 42

Table 4.2:  Data Analysis for Coarse Aggregate (Granite) 44

Table 4.3: Slump Test Result for GSA Concrete 46

Table 4.4:  Slump Test Result for CBA Concrete 47

Table 4.5:  Slump Test Result for Sugar Concrete 48

Table 4.6:  Slump Test Result for LP Concrete 49

Table 4.7:  Summary of Slump Test Result for Various  

         Concrete Admixtures 50

Table 4.8:  Compressive Strength Test Result of Normal Concrete 51

Table 4.9:  Compressive Strength Test Result of 5%

         Cow Bone Ash Concrete 52

Table 4.10:  Compressive Strength Test Result of 10%  

           Cow Bone Ash Concrete 53

Table 4.11:  Compressive Strength Test Result of 15% 

           Cow Bone Ash Concrete 54

Table 4.12:  Compressive Strength Test Result of 5% Sugar Concrete 56

Table 4.13:  Compressive Strength Test Result of 10% Sugar Concrete 57

Table 4.14:  Compressive Strength Test Result of  5%   

           Groundnut Shell Ash 58 

Table 4.15:  Compressive Strength Test Result Of 10%    

Groundnut Shell Ash 59

Table 4.16:  Compressive Strength Test Result of 15%   

           Groundnut Shell Ash 60 

Table 4.17:  Compressive Strength Test Result of 5%   

           Limestone Powder 61 

Table 4.18:  Compressive Strength Test Result of 10%   

           Limestone Powder 62

Table 4.19:  Compressive Strength Test Result of 15% 

            Limestone Powder 63 

Tables 4.20:   Summary Table for the Compressive Strength of Cube 65


Figure 4.1: The graph of sieve analysis for Fine Aggregate (Sand) 43

Figure 4.2: The graph of sieve analysis for Coarse Aggregate            

         (Granite). 45

Figure 4.3: The graph of slump test result for GSA Concrete 46   

Figure 4.4: The graph of slump test result for CBA Concrete 47

Figure 4.5: The graph of slump test result for SUGAR Concrete 48

Figure 4.6: The graph of slump test result for LP Concrete 49

Figure 4.7: The graph for summary of slump test result for           various Concrete Admixtures 50

Figure 4.8: The Average compressive strength of CBA-concrete  

          at various percentages for 14 and 28days of curing. 55

Figure 4.9: The Average compressive strength of Sugar concrete at various percentages for 14 and 28days of curing. 58

Figure 4.10: The Average compressive strength of GSA-concrete  

             at various percentages for 14 and 28days of curing. 61

Figure 4.11: The Average compressive strength of LP-concrete  

at various percentages for 14 and 28days of curing. 64

Figure 4.12: The summary of Average compressive strength for various Admixture concretes at various percentages for 14 and 28days of curing. 66


Plate 3.1: Groundnut Shell  and  Cow Bone            26

Plate 3.2: Burning of Groundnut Shell and Cow Bone 27

Plate 3.3: Cow bone ash, Groundnut shell ash, Limestone powder      

       and Sugar. 28

Plate 3.4:      Batching of Concrete 32

Plate 3.5:  Type of Slump 37

Plate 36:  Cube Production 38

Plate 3.7:  Curing of Cubes 39

Plate 3.8:  Crushing Machine 41


1.0. INTRODUCTION                                                                                                  The importance of understanding various types of materials used in Civil Engineering is widely recognized. There has been tremendous increase in the latest research and practical achievement to improve on concrete technology. Free exchange for technical knowledge at international conferences in many countries and worldwide exchange of technical paper, upgrading of internet information on how concrete can be improved in a situation where needed and bulletins has led to a general polling and shifting of information and recently to the publication of many new code and standard. Concrete is a composite material which is formed by mixing in good proportion, cement, water, fine aggregate and coarse aggregate, air and at times admixture. Freshly prepared concrete is called Wet or Green concrete. Concrete is used in substructure and superstructure work in civil engineering, for a meaningful work to take place in a construction industry, concrete must be available. However, the properties and performance of this concrete are being influenced by the introduction of some materials called admixture. Admixtures have been in use almost since the inception of the art of concreting. It is reported that the roman builders used oxblood as an admixture in their concrete and masonry structure. Research has shown that oxblood is an excellent air entraining agent. During the early part of this century it was a common practice to add gold dust, soap to concrete as water proofing agent. Admixtures are materials other than water, cement, aggregate and additives like pozzolana or slag and fibre reinforcement, used as an ingredient of concrete or mortar and added to the immediately before or during its mixing to modify or alter one or more  properties of the concrete in the plastic or hardened state.  

Admixtures can also be said to be substances introduced into concrete mixes in order to alter or improve the property of the fresh or hindered concrete or both in general.       

Admixtures are classified as either mineral admixture which may be introduced as blended materials such as fly-ash (FA), silicate fume (SF), ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS), meta kaolin (MK), and rice husk ash (RHA) or chemical admixture which are typically added during the mixing process of concrete production, its include accelerators, retarders, air entrainer, plasticizer or water reducer, water proofers and pigments (colourants).

In view of the above facts the project title “the effect of admixtures on the properties of concrete”is carried out with the aim of knowing the effect of the various types of admixture used on the properties of concrete, in term of the workability of concrete, setting time of concrete, durability of concrete and the concrete strength. The test also compared the effect of various admixtures on the setting to the hardening time of concrete as well as the slump and trowel test to know the degree of workability.

The test is limited to selected admixtures as a result of time factor, likewise the properties of concrete on which the test are based are limited but the most important and most interesting area are selected such as limestone powder(LP), sugar, groundnut shell ash(GSA) and cow bone ash(CBA).


Not all admixtures are economical to employ on a particular project. Also some characteristic of concrete, such as low absorption, can be achieved simply by consistently adhering to high quality concreting practices.

        The chemistry of concrete admixture is a complex topic requiring in depth knowledge and experience. A general understanding of the options available for concrete admixture is necessary for acquiring the right product for the project base on the climatic condition and project requirement.

1.2.   AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY                         

         The aim of this project is to determine the effects of limestone powder(LP),sugar, groundnut shell ash(GSA)and cow bone ash(CBA) admixtures on the properties of concrete. 

             The objectives of the study are alighted below:   

i. To know how admixtures affect concrete in term of its workability, setting time, durability and strength.

ii. To enable one to know the cost of using the various admixtures.

iii.To be able to compare concrete with admixture and concrete without admixture in term of their strength, workability.

1.3.    JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY   Admixture has been in use for a very long time, such as calcium chloride to provide a cold-weather setting concrete. Others are more recent and represent an area of expanding possibilities for increased performance. These types of admixtures are available in two forms, which are mineral or chemical admixture. Admixture like fly-ash, silicate fume, slag comes in category of mineral admixture, while chemical admixtures are super plasticizers, accelerator, water reducer, retarder and air entrainer.  Admixtures are used to modify the properties of concrete such as to improve workability, curing temperature range, setting time, increase strength, retard or accelerate strength development, reduce segregation, decrease or reduce permeability, increase bond of concrete to steel reinforcement, increase durability or resistance to severe condition of exposure. Generally, an admixture will affect more than one properties of concrete and its effect on all the properties of the concrete must therefore be considered. Admixture may increase or decrease the cost of concrete by reducing cement quantity required for a given strength changing the volume of the mixture, or reducing the cost of concrete placing and handling operations. Control of setting time of concrete may result in decreasing waiting time, repetition in the preparation of concrete in a large construction and therefore eliminating construction joint.

1.4.    SCOPE OF THE STUDY      The scope and limitation of this project is basically the effect of admixture on the properties of concrete. In view of the above facts, the extent at which some of the admixture hamper or enhances the properties of concrete is a motivating factor on this project. In this project limestone powder(LP), sugar, groundnut shell ash(GSA), cow bone ash(CBA) will be considered. The first three are retarding admixtures and consistency test of cement such as sieve analysis, slump, and compressive strength etc. would be carried out on the samples.



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