Improving PCC Mix Consistency and Production by Mixing Improvements (TR-505, Proj. 11)

Project status


Start date: 10/01/03
End date: 09/30/05


Principal investigators:

Co-principal investigators:

Student researcher:

  • Benjamin Hermanson

About the research

A two-stage mixing process for concrete involves mixing a slurry of cementitious materials and water, then adding the slurry to coarse and fine aggregate to form concrete. Some research has indicated that this process might facilitate dispersion of cementitious materials and improve cement hydration, the characteristics of the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) between aggregate and paste, and concrete homogeneity.

The goal of the study was to find optimal mixing procedures for production of a homogeneous and workable mixture and quality concrete using a two-stage mixing operation. The specific objectives of the study are as follows: (1) To achieve optimal mixing energy and time for a homogeneous cementitious material, (2) To characterize the homogeneity and flow property of the pastes, (3) To investigate effective methods for coating aggregate particles with cement slurry, (4) To study the effect of the two-stage mixing procedure on concrete properties, (5) To obtain the improved production rates. Parameters measured for Phase I included: heat of hydration, maturity, and rheology tests were performed on the fresh paste samples, and compressive strength, degree of hydration, and scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging tests were conducted on the cured specimens. For Phases II and III tests included slump and air content on fresh concrete and compressive and tensile strengths, rapid air void analysis, and rapid chloride permeability on hardened concrete.


Report: Improving Portland Cement Concrete Mix Consistency and Production Rate through Two-Stage Mixing (4.5 mb pdf) September 2007

Tech transfer summary: Two-Stage Mixing (156 kb pdf) Feb 2008



  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Iowa Highway Research Board
  • PCC Center Sponsored Research Fund