The Benefits of TECHNICAL COMMITTEE PARTICIPATION

Recently, The American Concrete Institute Committee 546 Repair of Concrete published the Guide for Jobsite Quality Assurance and Quality Control of Packaged Cementitious Materials. As a consulting member of Committee 546, I had the honor to participate in the development of this important guide and I want to share some thoughts about this positive experience.  It was an amazing opportunity (and humbling) to collaborate with so many professionals that have dedicated their careers to advancing the knowledge and use of concrete and it really opened my eyes as to how much I have to learn and how much we can learn from each other by being on Committees like this together.  Aside from the knowledge gained from serving on the committee, I also got to reconnect with several members of my graduating class (go IIT Scarlet Hawks!), to make new connections through networking events, and attend informative technical presentations.  It was truly an experience I will never forget, and I am looking forward to working on future publications.

About the guide: Understanding physical properties and behaviors

The Guide for Jobsite Quality Assurance and Quality Control of Packaged Cementitious Materials is an important document because our nation’s infrastructure depends on high-quality concrete placements to ensure long term reliability and durability.  Given the wide range of packaged concretes on the market, it is crucial that owners, engineers, and contractors fully understand the physical properties and behavior of the materials that are commonly used on various jobsites.  Depending on the nature of the project, varying levels of quality testing are required.  For example, the rehabilitation of a concrete vessel support structure in an oil refinery that must return to operation within 24 hours will have significantly different quality requirements than a residential sidewalk repair.

About the guide: Achieving desired quality to meet project objectives

When utilizing packaged concrete materials, many actions are required to achieve a level of quality that meets the project objectives.  The material should be properly stored at the jobsite, strict controls should be in place for adding water to the mix, detailed testing plans should be developed, product data sheets must be reviewed and followed throughout construction, environmental controls should be applied, proper curing procedures should be implemented.  Mockups may be required to understand the behavior of the material in a plastic state and to verify that the material and placement procedures are fully understood prior to the actual placement.  All of these steps are necessary in order to produce a quality product that will meet design requirements for the environment of the structure and to ensure safe operation throughout its design life.  ACI publication 546.4R provides guidance on how to successfully achieve quality concrete placements with pre-packaged materials.

About you: It’s never too early to join

I would encourage all structural engineers to become a member of a technical committee – it is an invaluable experience that will keep you informed of state-of-the-art developments while providing an opportunity to share your experience to advance the field of structural engineering.  In particular, young engineers should consider joining a committee early on in their careers as it is vital for the continuation of our profession.  Young engineers have unique perspectives and can make significant contributions, so don’t wait to get involved!

– Nick Triandafilou, Brindley Engineering Structural Department Manager

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