Concrete Construction - Methods and Costs
by Halbert P. Gillette
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In placing small amounts of concrete for bridge foundations in Nova Scotia, bags, made of rough brown paper were used to hold the concrete. Each bag held about 1 cu. ft. The bags were made up quickly and dropped into the water one after the other so that the following one was deposited before the cement escaped from the former one. The paper was immediately destroyed by submersion and concrete remained. The bags cost $1.35 per hundred or 35 cts. per cu. yd. of concrete. Concrete was thus deposited in 18 ft. of water without a diver.

DEPOSITING THROUGH A TREMIE.—A tremie consists of a tube of wood or, better, of sheet metal, which reaches from above the surface to the bottom of the water; it is operated by filling the tube with concrete and keeping it full by successive additions while allowing the concrete to flow out gradually at the bottom by raising the tube slightly to provide the necessary opening. A good example of a sheet steel tremie is shown by Fig. 33. This tremie was used by Mr. Wm. H. Ward in constructing the Harvard Bridge foundations and numerous other subaqueous structures of concrete. In these works the tube was suspended from a derrick. Wheelbarrows filled the tube and hopper with concrete and kept them full; the derrick raised the tube a few inches and swung it gently so as to move it slowly over the area to be filled. Care being taken to keep the tube at one height, the concrete was readily deposited in even layers. Concrete thus deposited in 18 ft. of water was found to be level and solid on pumping the pit dry.

Another method of handling a tremie was employed in constructing the foundations for the Charlestown Bridge at Boston, Mass. Foundation piles were driven and sawed off under water. A frame was built above water and supported by a curbing attached to certain piles in the outer rows of the foundation reserved for this purpose. In this frame the vertical members were Wakefield sheet-piling plank, spaced 6 to 10 ft. apart, and connected by three lines of double waling bolted to the verticals at three different heights. This frame was lowered to the bottom so as to enclose the bearing piles. The posts or verticals were then driven, one by one, into the bottom, the frame being flexible enough to permit this. The spaces between the posts or verticals were then filled by sheet-piling and the frame was bolted to the curbing piles. This curbing afterward supported the traveler used in laying the concrete. Thus a coffer dam was formed to receive the concrete as shown in Fig. 34. The 1-2-5 concrete was deposited up to within 5 ft. of the mean low water level, the last foot being laid after water was pumped out. The tremie used to deposit the concrete was a tube 14 ins. in diameter at the bottom and 11 ins. at the neck, with a hopper at the top. It was made in removable sections, with outside flanges, and was suspended by a differential hoist from a truck moving laterally on a traveler, Fig. 34. The foot of the chute rested on the bottom until filled with concrete; then the chute was slowly raised and the concrete allowed to run but into a conical heap, more concrete being dumped into the hopper. As the truck moved across the traveler a ridge of concrete was made; then the traveler was moved forward and another parallel ridge was made. The best results were obtained when the layers were 2 ft. thick, but layers up to 6 ft. thick were laid. If the layer was too thick, or uneven, or if the chute was moved or raised too quickly, the charge in the tube was "lost." This was objectionable because the charging of the chute anew resulted in "washing" the cement more or less out of the concrete until the chute was again filled. To reduce this objection the contractor was directed to dump some neat cement into the tube before filling with concrete. A canvass piston was devised which could be pushed ahead of the concrete when filling the chute. It consisted of two truncated cones of canvass, one flaring downward to force the water ahead, and the other flaring upward to hold the concrete. The canvass was stiffened and held against the sides of the chute by longitudinal ribs of spring steel wire; the waist was filled by a thick block of wood to which all the springs were attached; and to this block were connected additional steel guides to prevent overturning and a rope to regulate the descent. Very little water forced its way past this piston and it was a success, but as the cost was considerable and a piston was lost each time, its use was abandoned as the evil to be avoided did not justify the outlay.

The chute worked best when the concrete was mixed not quite wet enough to be plastic. If mixed too wet the charge was liable to be "lost," and if dry it would choke the chute. An excess of gravel permitted water to ascend in the tube; and an excess of sand tended to check the flow of concrete.

In constructing the piers for a masonry arch bridge in France in 1888 much the same method was followed, except that a wooden tremie 16 ins. square made in detachable sections was used. This tremie had a hopper top and was also provided with a removable cap or cover for the bottom end, the latter device being intended to keep the water out of the tube and prevent "washing" the first charge of concrete. The piers were constructed by first driving piles and sawing them off several feet above the bottom but below water level, and then filling them nearly to their tops with broken stone. An open box caisson was then sunk onto the stone and embracing the pile tops and then filled around the outside with more broken stone. The caisson was then filled with concrete through the tremie which was handled by a traveling crane. The crane was mounted and traveled transversely of the pier on a platform which in turn moved along tracks laid lengthwise of the caisson. The tube was gradually filled with concrete and lowered, the detachable bottom of the tube was then removed, allowing the concrete to run out. The tube was first moved across the caisson and then downstream and back across the caisson, and this operation repeated until a 16-in. layer was completed. The tube was then raised 16 ins. and the operations repeated to form another layer. There was almost no laitance. From 90 to 100 cu. yds. were deposited daily.

Still another example of tremie work is furnished by the task of depositing a large mass of concrete under water in the construction of the Nussdorf Lock at Vienna. This lock has a total width of 92 ft. over all, and is 49.2 ft. clear inside. The excavation, which was carried to a depth of 26.24 ft. below water level, was made full width, between sheet piling, and the bottom was filled in with rammed sand and gravel, forming a kind of invert with its upper surface horizontal in the middle and sloping upwards a trifle at both sides. A mass of concrete having a total thickness of 13.12 ft. was built on this foundation in the center where the upper surfaces were 13.12 ft. below the water level. Concrete walls were carried up at the sides of the lock to a height of 3.28 ft.; these walls were 8.2 ft. thick. The methods used in placing the concrete were as follows: Three longitudinal rows of piles were driven on each side of the axis of the lock, these piles supporting a 6-rail track about 7 ft. above the water level. Three carriages spanning the full width of the lock transversely moved on this track. Each carriage had three trolleys, one in each of the main panels of the transverse pile bends. These trolleys each carried a vertical telescopic tube, by means of which the concrete was deposited at the bottom of the lock. These tubes or chutes were of different lengths in the three carriages; the first ones deposited the concrete up to a level of 23 ft. below the surface; the next set deposited the concrete between that level and 19.7 ft., and the last set completed the subaqueous work up to the final height of 16.4 ft. below the surface. The tops of the tubes were level with a transverse track extending the full length of the carriage. The ends of these tracks just cleared the outside rows of piles, which, on one side of the lock, supported a distribution track parallel to the axis of the lock. Dump cars running on this distribution track delivered the concrete to smaller dump cars on the carriage tracks, and in turn these smaller cars dumped into either of these chutes on each carriage. The carriages were moved from end to end of the lock, the whole area of the lock coming under the nine chutes, inasmuch as each chute moved one-third the length of the carriage. The concrete was deposited in three horizontal layers 3.28 ft. thick, the layers being built in comparatively narrow banks, so that the different layers would key together and form a corrugated mass. The chutes were shortened as the concrete was deposited, three layers being placed successively. The main body of the bottom and the side walls were built by this method, and then the water was pumped out and a 2.3 ft. layer of concrete rammed over the bottom and completed with a finished surface 9 ft. thick.

GROUTING SUBMERGED STONE.—Masses of gravel, broken or rubble stone deposited under water may be cemented into virtually a solid concrete by charging the interstices with grout forced through pipes from the surface. Mr. H. F. White gives the following records of grouting submerged gravel:

In experiment No. 1 a reservoir 10 ft. square was filled to a depth of 18 ins. with clean gravel ballast (1 to 2-in. size) submerged in water. A 2-in. gas pipe rested on the gravel and was surmounted with a funnel. A 1:1 Portland grout was poured in. After 21 days set the water was drawn off, and it was found that the grout had permeated the ballast for a space of 8 ft. square at the bottom and 6 ft. square at the top, leaving a small pile of pure cement mortar 6 ins. high about the base of the pipe; 16 cu. ft. of cement and 16 cu. ft. of sand concreted 100 cu. yds. of ballast. In experiment No. 2, under the same conditions, a grout made of 1 part lime, 1 part surki (puzzulana or trass) and 1 part sand, was found to have spread over the entire bottom, 10 ft. square, rising 5 ins. on the sides, and making the concreted mass about 3 ft. square at the top; 25 cu. ft. of the dry materials concreted 100 cu. ft. of ballast. In experiment No. 3 the ballast was 2 ft. deep. A grout (using 8 cu. ft. of each ingredient) made as in experiment No. 2 covered the bottom, rose 14 ins. on the sides and made a top surface 4 ft. square; 32 cu. ft. of the dry materials grouted 100 cu. ft. of ballast. In experiment No. 4 the ballast was of bats and pieces 3 or 4 ins. in size laid 7 ft. deep. A grout made as in experiment No. 2 (using 88 cu. ft. of each ingredient) concreted the whole mass to a depth of 6 ft. up the sides, and 2 ft. square at the pipe on the surface of the ballast. Mr. White says that a grout containing more than 1 part of sand to 1 of Portland cement will not run freely through a 2-in. pipe, as the sand settles out and chokes the pipe. Even with 1:1 grout it must be constantly stirred and a steady flow into the pipe maintained. The lime-trass grout does not give the same trouble.

Mr. W. R. Knipple describes the work of grouting rubble stone and gravel for the base of the Hermitage Breakwater. This breakwater is 525 ft. long, 50 ft. wide at base and 42 ft. wide at top, and 68 ft. high, was built on the island of Jersey. Where earth (from 0 to 8 ft. deep) overlaid the granite rock, it was dredged and the trench filled in with rubble stones and gravel until a level foundation was secured. Cement grout was then forced into this filling through pipe placed 8 to 10 ft. apart. The grouting was done in sections 12 ft. long, from 7 to 10 days being taken to complete each. Upon this foundation concrete blocks, 449 to 12 ft., were laid in courses inclined at an angle of 68. The first four courses were laid by divers, the blocks being stacked dry two courses high at a time. The joints below water were calked by divers and above water by masons, and a section was then grouted. When two courses had been laid and grouted, two more courses were laid and grouted in turn, and so on. In places, grouting was done in 50 ft. of water. The grout should be a thick paste; a 30-ft. column of grout will balance a 60-ft. column of water.



Two kinds of concrete which vary in composition and character from the common standard mixtures of cement, sand and broken aggregate are extensively employed in engineering construction. These are rubble concrete and asphaltic concrete.

RUBBLE CONCRETE.—In constructing massive walls and slabs a reduction in cost may often (not always) be obtained by introducing large stones into the concrete. Concrete of this character is called rubble concrete, and the percentage of rubble stone contained varies from a few per cent. to, in some cases, over half of the volume. The saving effected comes partly from the reduction in the cement required per cubic yard of concrete and partly from the saving in crushing.

The saving in cement may be readily figured if the composition of the concrete and the volume of the added rubble stones be known. A 1-2-5 concrete requires according to Table X in Chapter II 1.13 bbls. of cement per cubic yard. Assuming a barrel of cement to make 3.65 cu. ft. of paste, we have 3.65 1.13 = 4.12 cu. ft. of cement paste per cubic yard of 1-2-5 concrete. This means that about 15 per cent. of the volume of the concrete structure is cement. If rubble stone be introduced to 50 per cent. of the volume, then the structure has about 7 per cent. of its volume of cement. It is of interest to note in this connection that rubble masonry composed of 65 per cent. stone and 35 per cent. of 1-2 mortar would have some 11 per cent. of its volume made up of cement.

The saving in crushing is not so simple a determination. Generally speaking, the fact that a considerable volume of the concrete is composed of what, we will call uncrushed stone, means a saving in the stone constituent of one structure amounting to what it would have cost to break up and screen this volume of uncrushed stone, but there are exceptions. For example, the anchorages of the Manhattan Bridge over the East River at New York city were specified to be of rubble concrete, doubtless because the designer believed rubble concrete to be cheaper than plain concrete. In this case an economic mistake was made, for all the rubble stone used had to be quarried up the Hudson River, loaded onto and shipped by barges to the site and then unloaded and handled to the work using derricks. Now this repeated handling of large, irregular rubble stones is expensive. Crushed stone as we have shown in Chapter IV can be unloaded from boats at a very low cost by means of clam shells. It can be transported on a belt conveyor, elevated by bucket conveyer, mixed with sand and cement and delivered to the work all with very little manual labor when the installation of a very efficient plant is justified by the magnitude of the job. Large rubble stones cannot be handled so cheaply or with so great rapidity as crushed stone; the work may be so expensive, due to repeated handlings, as to offset the cost of crushing as well as the extra cost of cement in plain concrete. On the other hand, the cost of quarrying rock suitable for rubble concrete is no greater than the cost of quarrying it for crushing—it is generally less because the stone does not have to be broken so small—so that when the cost of getting the quarried rock to the crusher and the crushed stone into the concrete comes about the same as getting the quarried stone into the structure it is absurd practice to require crushing. To go back then to our first thought, the question whether or not saving results from the use of rubble concrete, is a separate problem in engineering economics for each structure.

In planning rubble concrete work the form of the rubble stones as they come from the quarry deserves consideration. Stones that have flat beds like many sandstones and limestones can be laid upon layers of dry concrete and have the vertical interstices filled with dry concrete by tamping. It requires a sloppy concrete to thoroughly embed stones which break out irregularly. In the following examples of rubble concrete work the reader will find structures varying widely enough in character and in the percentages of rubble used to cover most ordinary conditions of such work.

Where the rubble stones are very large it is now customary to use the term "cyclopean masonry" instead of rubble concrete. Many engineers who have not studied the economics of the subject believe that the use of massive blocks of stone bedded in concrete necessarily gives the cheapest form of masonry. We have already indicated conditions where ordinary concrete is cheaper than rubble concrete. We may add that if the quarry yields a rock that breaks up naturally into small sized blocks, it is the height of economic folly to specify large sized cyclopean blocks. Nevertheless this blunder has been frequently made in the recent past.

Chattahoochee River Dam.—The roll-way portion, 680 ft. long, of the dam for the Atlanta Water & Electric Power Co., shown in section by Fig. 35, was built of a hearting of rubble concrete with a fine concrete facing and a rubble rear wall. The facing, 12 ins. thick of 1-2-4 concrete, gave a smooth surface for the top and face of the dam, while the rubble rear wall enabled back forms to be dispensed with and, it was considered, made a more impervious masonry. The concrete matrix for the core was a 1-2-5 stone mixture made very wet. The rubble stones, some as large as 4 cu. yds., were bedded in the concrete by dropping them a few yards from a derrick and "working" them with bars; a well formed stone was readily settled 6 ins. into a 10-in. bed of concrete. The volume of rubble was from 33 to 45 per cent. of the total volume of the masonry. The 1-2-4 concrete facing was brought up together with the rubble core, using face forms and templates to get the proper profile. The work was done by contract and the average was 5,500 cu. yds. of concrete placed per month.

Barossa Dam, South Australia.—The Barossa Dam for the water-works for Gawler, South Australia, is an arch with a radius of 200 ft., and an arc length on top of 422 ft.; its height above the bed of the stream is 95 ft. Figure 36 is a cross-section of the dam at the center. The dam contains 17,975 cu. yds. of rubble concrete in the proportions of 2,215 cu. yds. of rubble stone to 15,760 cu. yds. of concrete; thus about 12.3 per cent. of the dam was of rubble. The concrete was mixed by weight of 1 part cement, 1 parts sand, and a varying proportion of aggregate composed of 4 parts 1 to 2-in. stone, 2 parts to 1-in. stone and 1 part 1/8 to -in. stone or screenings. The sand was one-half river sand and one-half crusher sand. The following shows the amounts by weight of the several materials for each of the several classes of concrete per cubic yard:

——————-Stone————— Class. Excess Mortar. 1-2. -1. 1/8-. Sand. Cement. A 7.5% 1,500 661 333 804 434 B 12.5 1,433-1/3 637 318 858 463 C 12.5 1,434 637 318 859 474 D 15 1,402 623 312 884 484

The average composition of the concrete was 1-1-3. Its cost per cubic yard in place including rubble was 38s 9d per cu. yd. or about $9.30. In proportioning the mixture on the work use was made of the device shown by Fig. 37 to weigh the aggregate. The measuring car is pushed back under the stone hopper chute until the wheels drop into shallow notches in the balanced track rails; stone is then admitted until the lead weight begins to rise, when the car is pushed forward and dumps automatically as indicated.

Other Rubble Concrete Dams.—Rubble concrete containing from 55 to 60 per cent. rubble was used in constructing the Boonton Dam at Boonton, N. J. The stones used measured from 1 to 2 cu. yds. each; the concrete was made so wet that when the stones were dropped into it, it flowed into every crevice. The materials were all delivered on cars, from which they were delivered to the dam by derricks provided with bull-wheels. On the dam there were 4 laborers and 1 mason to each derrick, and this gang dumped the concrete and joggled the rubble stones into it. Records of 125 cu. yds. per 10 hours, with one derrick, were made. With 35 derricks, 20 of which were laying masonry and 15 either passing materials or being moved, as much as 21,000 cu. yds. of masonry were laid in one month. The amount of cement per cubic yard of masonry is variously stated to have been 0.6 to 0.75 bbl. The stone was granite.

The Spier Falls Dam on the upper Hudson River was built of rubble concrete containing about 33 per cent. rubble stone. The concrete was a 1-2-5 mixture, and the engineer states that about 1 bbl. of cement was used per cubic yard of rubble concrete. This high percentage of cement may be accounted for by the fact that there was a considerable amount of rubble masonry in cement mortar included in the total. The stones and concrete were delivered along the dam by cableways and stiff-leg derricks set on the downstream sloping face of the dam delivered them from the cableways into place. There were two laborers to each mason employed in placing the materials, wages being 15 and 35 cts. per hour, respectively. The labor cost of placing the materials was 60 cts. per cubic yard of masonry. The stone was granite.

Granite rubble laid in layers on beds of concrete and filled between with concrete was used in constructing the Hemet Dam in California. The concrete was a 1-3-6 mixture, and was thoroughly tamped under and between the stones. For face work the stones were roughly scabbled to shape and laid in mortar. The stone was taken from the quarry 400 ft. away and delivered directly on the dam by cableways; here two derricks handled the stone into place, the dam being only 246 ft. arc length on top, though it was 122 ft. high. The cableways would take a 10-ton load; stones could be taken from the quarry, hoisted 150 ft. and delivered to the work in 40 to 60 seconds. Common labor at $1.75 per day was used for all masonry except facing, where masons at $3.50 were employed. Cement cost delivered $5 per barrel, of which from $1 to $1.50 per barrel was the cost of hauling 23 miles by team over roads having 18 per cent. grades in places. Sand was taken from the stream bed and delivered to the work by bucket conveyor. "Under favorable conditions some of the masonry was put in for as low as $4 per cu. yd." There were 31,100 cu. yds. of masonry in the dam, which required 20,000 bbls. of cement, or 0.64 bbl. per cubic yard.

The following novel method of making rubble concrete was employed in enlarging two old dams and in constructing two new dams for a small water-works. The available time was short, the amount of work was too small and too scattered to justify the installation of a stone crusher, and suitable gravel was not at hand. Sufficient small boulders in old walls, and borrow pits and on surface of fields were available, and were used with thin Portland cement mortar. One part of Alpha or Lehigh cement and three parts sand were mixed dry at first and then wet with just enough water to make the resulting mortar flow by gravity. This mortar was shoveled into the forms continuously by one set of men while other men were throwing into the mortar in the forms the boulders which were cleaned and broken so as not to be more than 7 ins. long. In general the performance was continuous. Three mortar beds were placed parallel with, and against, one side of the forms, with spaces of about 4 ft. between the ends of the beds. The boulders were dumped on the opposite side of the forms. Two men shoveled in all the mortar and did nothing else. While they were emptying one bed the mortar was being mixed in the preceding bed by two other men and the materials placed in the third bed by still others. Another gang was continually throwing in the boulders and small stones and still another was breaking stone. One man should keep the mortar well stirred while the bed is being emptied. About 20 men were necessary to do all parts of the work. The forms were of 2-in. planed plank tongued and grooved. Especial pains were taken to make the forms tight, and all leaks that appeared were quickly stopped with dry cement. Some pains were taken to prevent a flat side of large stones from coming in direct contact with the forms, but round boulders and small stones needed no care to prevent their showing in the finished work.

In conclusion it is interesting to note, perhaps, the earliest use of rubble concrete for dam construction in this country in constructing the Boyd's Corner Dam on the Croton River near New York. This dam was begun in 1867 and for a time rubble concrete was used, but was finally discontinued, due to the impression that it might not be watertight. The specifications called for dry concrete to be thoroughly rammed in between the rubble stones, and to give room for this ramming the contractor was not permitted to lay any two stones closer together than 12 ins. As a result not more than 33 per cent. of the concrete was rubble.

Abutment for Railway Bridge.—Figure 38 shows a bridge abutment built of rubble concrete at a cost of about $4.50 per cu. yd. The concrete was a 1-2-4 mixture laid in 4-in. layers. On each layer were laid large rubble stones bedded flat and spaced to give 6-in. vertical joints; the vertical joints were filled with concrete by ramming and then another layer of concrete placed and so on. A force of 28 men and a foreman averaged 40 cu. yds. of rubble concrete per day. The following is the itemized cost per cubic yard, not including forms, for 278 cu. yds:

Item. Per Cu. Yd. 0.82 bbls. cement, at $2.60 $2.14 0.22 cu. yd. sand, at $1.00 0.22 0.52 cu. yd. broken stone, at $0.94 0.49 0.38 cu. yd. rubble stone, at $0.63 0.24 Water 0.07 Labor, at 15 cts. per hour 1.19 Foreman 0.09 ———- Total $4.44

Some English Data on Rubble Concrete.—Railway work, under Mr. John Strain, in Scotland and Spain, involved the building of abutments, piers and arches of rubble concrete. The concrete was made of 1 part cement to 5 parts of ballast, the ballast consisting of broken stone or slag and sand mixed in proportions determined by experiment. The materials were mixed by turning with shovels 4 times dry, then 4 times more during the addition of water through a rose nozzle. A bed of concrete 6 ins. thick was first laid, and on this a layer of rubble stones, no two stones being nearer together than 3 ins., nor nearer the forms than 3 ins. The stones were rammed and probed around with a trowel to leave no spaces. Over each layer of rubble, concrete was spread to a depth of 6 ins. The forms or molds for piers for a viaduct were simply large open boxes, the four sides of which could be taken apart. The depth of the boxes was uniform, and they were numbered from the top down, so, that, knowing the height of a given pier, the proper box for the base could be selected. As each box was filled, the next one smaller in size was swung into place with a derrick. The following bridge piers for the Tharsis & Calanas Railway were built:

Length Height No. Cu. Yds. Weeks of of of in to Name. Bridge. Piers. Spans. Piers. Build. Ft. Ft.

Tamujoso River 435 28 12 1,737 14 Oraque 423 31 11 1,590 15 Cascabelero 480 30 to 80 10 2,680 21 No. 16 294 28 to 50 7 1,046 16 Tiesa 165 16 to 23 8 420 4

It is stated that the construction of some of these piers in ordinary masonry would have taken four times as long. The rock available for rubble did not yield large blocks, consequently the percentage of pure concrete in the piers was large, averaging 70 per cent. In one case, where the stones were smaller than usual, the percentage of concrete was 76 per cent. In other work the percentage has been as low as 55 per cent., and in still other work where a rubble face work was used the percentage of concrete has been 40 per cent.

In these piers the average quantities of materials per cubic yard of rubble concrete were:

448 lbs. (0.178 cu. yd.) cement. 0.36 cu. yd. sand. 0.68 cu. yd. broken stone (measured loose in piles). 0.30 cu. yd. rubble (measured solid).

Several railway bridge piers and abutments in Scotland are cited. In one of these, large rubble stones of irregular size and weighing 2 tons each were set inside the forms, 3 ins. away from the plank and 3 ins. from one another. The gang to each derrick was: 1 derrick man and 1 boy, 1 mason and 10 laborers, and about one-quarter of the time of 1 carpenter and his helper raising the forms. For bridges of 400 cu. yds., the progress was 12 to 15 cu. yds. a day. The forms were left in place 10 days.

To chip off a few inches from the face of a concrete abutment that was too far out, required the work of 1 quarryman 5 days per cu. yd. of solid concrete chipped off.

Concrete was used for a skew arch over the River Dochart, on the Killin Railway, Scotland. There were 5 arches, each of 30 ft. span on the square or 42 ft. on the skew, the skew being 45. The piers were of rubble concrete. The concrete in the arch was wheeled 300 ft. on a trestle, and dumped onto the centers. It was rammed in 6-in. layers, which were laid corresponding to the courses of arch stones. As the layers approached the crown of the arch, some difficulty was experienced in keeping the surfaces perpendicular. Each arch was completed in a day.

In a paper by John W. Steven, in Proc. Inst. C. E., the following is given:

Rubble Per Cent. Concrete Concrete of Rubble Per Per in Rubble Cu. Yd. Cu. Yd. Concrete. Ardrossan Harbor $6.00 $5.00 20.0 Irvine Branch 7.00 3.68 63.6 Calanas & Tharsis Ry 7.08 3.43 30.3

Mr. Martin Murphy describes some bridge foundations in Nova Scotia. Rubble concrete was used in some of the piers. The rubble concrete consisted of 1 part cement, 2 parts sand, 1 part clean gravel, and 5 parts of large stones weighing 20 lbs. each and upwards. The sand, cement and gravel were turned three times dry and three times wet, and put into the forms. The rubble stones were bedded in the concrete by hand, being set on end, 2 or 3 ins. apart. No rubble stones were placed within 6 ins. of the forms, thus leaving a face of plain concrete; and the rubble stones were not carried higher than 18 ins. below the top of the pier. One cubic yard of this rubble concrete required 0.8 to 0.9 bbl. of cement.

ASPHALT CONCRETE.—Asphalt or tar concrete in which steam cinders or broken stone or gravel and sand are mixed with asphaltum or tar instead of cement paste are used to some extent in lining reservoirs, constructing mill floors, etc. Such mixtures differ in degree only from the mixtures used for asphalt street paving, for discussion of which the various books on paving and asphalts should be consulted. The two examples of asphalt concrete work given here are fairly representative of the mixtures and methods employed for concrete work as distinguished from asphalt work.

Slope Paving for Earth Dam.—Mr. Robert B. Stanton describes a small log dam faced upstream with earth, upon which was laid an asphalt concrete lining to make it water tight. The stone was broken to 2-in. pieces, all the fines being left in and sufficient fine material added to fill the voids. The stone was heated and mixed in pans or kettles from a street paving outfit; and the asphaltum paste, composed of 4 parts California refined asphaltum and 1 part crude petroleum, was boiled in another kettle. The boiling hot paste was poured with ladles over the hot stone, and the whole mixed over the fire with shovels and hoes. The asphalt concrete was taken away in hot iron wheelbarrows, placed in a 4-in. layer rammed and ironed with hot irons. The concrete was laid in strips 4 to 6 ft. wide, the edges being coated with hot paste. After the whole reservoir was lined, it was painted with the asphalt paste, boiled much longer, until when cold it was hard and stone was broken to 2-in. pieces, all the fines being left in and sufficient fine material added to fill the voids. The stone was heated and mixed in pans or kettles from a street paving outfit; and the asphaltum paste, composed of 4 parts California refined asphaltum and 1 part crude petroleum, was boiled in another kettle. The boiling hot paste was poured with ladles over the hot stone, and the whole mixed over the fire with shovels and hoes. The asphalt concrete was taken away in hot iron wheelbarrows, placed in a 4-in. layer rammed and ironed with hot irons. The concrete was laid in strips 4 to 6 ft. wide, the edges being coated with hot paste. After the whole reservoir was lined, it was painted with the asphalt paste, boiled much longer, until when cold it was hard and brittle, breaking like glass under the hammer. This paste was put on very hot and ironed down. It should not be more than {1/8}-in. thick or it will "creep" on slopes of 1 to 1. After two hot summers and one cold winter there was not a single crack anywhere in the lining. A mixture of sand and asphalt will creep on slopes of 1 to 1, but asphalt concrete will not. With asphalt at $20 a ton, and labor at $2 a day, the cost was 15 cts. a sq. ft. for 4-in. asphalt concrete. On a high slope Mr. Stanton recommends making slight berms every 6 ft. to support the concrete and prevent creeping. Asphalt concrete resists the wear of wind and water that cuts away granite and iron.

Base for Mill Floor.—In constructing 17,784 sq. ft. of tar concrete base for a mill floor, Mr. C. H. Chadsey used a sand, broken stone and tar mixture mixed in a mechanical mixer. The apparatus used and the mode of procedure followed were as follows:

Two parallel 8-in. brick walls 26 ft. long were built 4 ft. apart and 2 ft. high to form a furnace. On these walls at one end was set a 462 ft. steel plate tar heating tank. Next to this tank for a space of 48 ft. the walls were spanned between with steel plates. This area was used for heating sand. Another space of 48 ft. was covered with 1 in. steel rods arranged to form a grid; this space was used for heating the broken stones. The grid proved especially efficient, as it permitted the hot air to pass up through the stones, while a small cleaning door at the ground allowed the screenings which dropped through the grid to be raked out and added to the mixture. A fire from barrel staves and refuse wood built under the tank end was sufficient to heat the tar, sand and stone.

For mixing the materials a Ransome mixer was selected for the reason that heat could be supplied to the exterior of the drum by building a wood fire underneath. This fire was maintained to prevent the mixture from adhering to the mixing blades, and it proved quite effective, though occasionally they would have to be cleaned with a chisel bar, particularly when the aggregate was not sufficiently heated before being admitted to the mixer. A little "dead oil" applied to the discharge chute and to the shovels, wheelbarrows and other tools effectually prevented the concrete from adhering to them.

The method of depositing the concrete was practically the same as that used in laying cement sidewalks. Wood strips attached to stakes driven into the ground provided templates for gaging the thickness of the base and for leveling off the surface. The wood covering consisted of a layer of 2-in. planks, covered by matched hardwood flooring. In placing the planking, the base was covered with a -in. layer of hot pitch, into which the planks were pressed immediately, the last plank laid being toe-nailed to the preceding plank just enough to keep the joint tight. After a few minutes the planks adhered so firmly to the base that they could be removed only with difficulty. The hardwood surface was put on in the usual manner. The prices of materials and wages for the work were as follows:

Pitch, bulk, per lb. $ 0.0075 Gravel, per cu. yd. 1.50 Spruce sub-floor, per M. ft. B. M. 15.00 Hardwood surface, per M. ft. B. M. 33.00 Laborers, per 10-hour day. 1.50 Foreman, per 10-hour day. 4.00 Carpenters, per 10-hour day. 2.00

At these prices and not including a small administration cost or the cost of tools and plant, the cost of the floor consisting of 4 ins. of concrete, 2 ins. of spruce sub-flooring and 7/8-in. hardwood finish was as follows per square foot:

Pitch $0.04 Gravel 0.02 Spruce, for sub-floor 0.03 Hardwood for surfacing 0.035 Labor, mixing 0.03 Labor, laying 0.015 Carpenter work 0.025 ——— Total per square foot $0.195



Reinforced concrete work may be done in freezing weather if the end to be gained warrants the extra cost. Laboratory experiments show beyond much doubt that Portland cement concrete which does not undergo freezing temperatures until final set has taken place, or which, if frozen before it has set, is allowed to complete the setting process after thawing without a second interruption by freezing, does not suffer loss of ultimate strength or durability. These requirements for safety may be satisfied by so treating the materials or compounding the mixture that freezing will not occur at normal freezing temperature or else will be delayed until the concrete has set, by so housing in the work and artificially treating the inclosed space that its temperature never falls as low as the freezing point, or, by letting the concrete freeze if it will and then by suitable protection and by artificial heating produce and maintain a thawing temperature until set has taken place.

LOWERING THE FREEZING POINT OF THE MIXING WATER.—Lowering the freezing point of the mixing water is the simplest and cheapest method by which concrete can be mixed and deposited in freezing weather. The method consists simply in adding some substance to the water which will produce a brine or emulsion that freezes at some temperature below 32 F. determined by the substance added and the richness of the admixture. A great variety of substances may be added to water to produce low freezing brines, but in concrete work only those may be used that do little or no injury to the strength and durability of the concrete. Practice has definitely determined only one of these, namely, sodium chloride or common salt, though some others have been used successfully in isolated cases. A point to be borne in mind is that cold retards the setting of cement and that the use of anti-freezing mixtures emphasizes this phenomenon and its attendant disadvantages in practical construction. The accompanying diagram, Fig. 39, based on the experiments of Tetmajer, show the effect on the freezing point of water by the admixtures of various substances that have been suggested for reducing the freezing point of mortar and concrete mixtures.

Common Salt (Sodium Chloride).—The substance most usually employed to lower the freezing point of water used in concrete is common salt. Laboratory experiments show that the addition of salt retards the setting and probably lowers the strength of cement at short periods, but does not, when not used to excess, injure the ultimate strength. The amount beyond which the addition of salt begins to affect injuriously the strength of cement is stated variously by various authorities. Sutcliffe states that it is not safe to go beyond 7 or 8 per cent. by weight of the water; Sabin places the safe figures at 10 per cent., and the same figure is given by a number of other American experimenters. A number of rules have been formulated for varying the percentage of salt with the temperature of the atmosphere. Prof. Tetmajer's rule as stated by Prof. J. B. Johnson, is to add 1 per cent. of salt by weight of the water for each degree Fahrenheit below 32. A rule quoted by many writers is "1 lb. of salt to 18 gallons of water for a temperature of 32 F., and an increase of 1 oz. for each degree lower temperature." This rule gives entirely inadequate amounts to be effective, the percentage by weight of the water being about 1 per cent. The familiar rules of enough salt to make a brine that will "float an egg" or "float a potato" are likewise untrustworthy; they call respectively, according to actual tests made by Mr. Sanford E. Thompson, for 15 per cent. and 11 per cent. of salt which is too much, according to the authorities quoted above, to be used safely. In practice an arbitrary quantity of salt per barrel of cement or per 100 lbs. of water is usually chosen. Preferably the amount should be stated in terms of its percentage by weight of the water, since if stated in terms of pounds per barrel of cement the richness of the brine will vary with the richness of the concrete mixture, its composition, etc. As examples of the percentages used in practice, the following works may be quoted: New York Rapid Transit Railway, 9 per cent. by weight of the water; Foster-Armstrong Piano Works, 6 per cent. by weight of the water. In summary, it would seem that if a rule for the use of salt is to be adopted that of Tetmajer, which is to add 1 per cent. by weight of the water for each degree Fahrenheit below 32, is as logical and accurate as any. It should, however, be accompanied by the proviso that no more than 10 per cent. by weight of salt should be considered safe practice, and that if the frost is too keen for this to avail some other method should be adopted or the work stopped. It may be taken that each unit per cent. of salt added to water reduces the freezing temperature of the brine about 1.08 F.; a 10 per cent. salt brine will therefore freeze at 32 - 11 = 21 F. The range of efficiency of salt as a preventative of frost in mixing and laying concrete is, obviously, quite limited.

HEATING CONCRETE MATERIALS.—Heating the sand, stone and mixing water acts both to hasten the setting and to lengthen the time before the mixture becomes cold enough to freeze. At temperatures not greatly below freezing the combined effects are sufficient to ensure the setting of the concrete before it can freeze. More specific data of efficiency are difficult to arrive at. There are no test data that show how long it takes a concrete mixture at a certain temperature to lose its heat and become cold enough to freeze at any specific temperature of the surrounding air, and a theoretical calculation of this period is so beset with difficulties as to be impracticable. Strength tests of concrete made with heated materials have shown clearly enough that the heating has no effect worth mentioning on either strength or durability. Either the water, the sand, the aggregate or all three may be heated; usually the cement is not heated but it may be if desired.

Portable Heaters.—An ordinary half cylinder of sheet steel set on the ground like an arch is the simplest form of sand heater. A wood fire is built under the arch and the sand to be heated is heaped on the top and sides. The efficiency of this device may be improved by closing one end of the arch and adding a short chimney stack, but even the very crude arrangement of sheets of corrugated iron bent to an arc will do good service where the quantities handled are small. This form of heater may be used for stone or gravel in the same manner as for sand. It is inexpensive, simple to operate and requires only waste wood for fuel, but unless it is fired with exceeding care the sand in contact with the metal will be burned. The drawings of Fig. 40 show the construction of a portable heater for sand, stone and water used in constructing concrete culverts on the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad. This device weighs 1,200 lbs., and costs about $50.

Heating in Stationary Bins.—The following arrangement for heating sand and gravel in large quantities in bins was employed in constructing the Foster-Armstrong Piano Works at Rochester, N. Y. The daily consumption of sand and gravel on this work was about 50 cu. yds. and 100 cu. yds., respectively. To provide storage for the sand and gravel, a bin 16 ft. square in projected plan was constructed with vertical sides and a sloping bottom as illustrated in Fig. 41. This bin was divided by a vertical partition into a large compartment for gravel and a small compartment for sand and was provided with two grates of boiler tubes arranged as shown. These grates caused V-shaped cavities to be formed beneath in the gravel and sand. Into these cavities penetrated through one end of the bin 6-in. pipes from a hot air furnace and 1-in. pipes from a steam boiler. The hot air pipes merely pass through the wall but the steam pipes continue nearly to the opposite side of the bin and are provided with open crosses at intervals along their length. In addition to the conduits described there is a small pipe for steam located below and near the bottom of the bin. The hot air pipes connected with a small furnace and air was forced through them by a Sturtevant No. 6 blower. The steam pipes connected with the boiler of a steam heating system installed to keep the buildings warm during construction.

Other Examples of Heating Materials.—In the construction of the power plant of the Billings (Mont.) Water Power Co., practically all of the concrete work above the main floor level was put in during weather so cold that it was necessary to heat both the gravel and water used. A sand heater was constructed of four 15-ft. lengths of 15-in. cast iron pipe, two in series and the two sets placed side by side. This gave a total length of 30 ft. for heating, making it possible to use the gravel from alternate ends and rendering the heating process continuous. The gravel was dumped directly on the heater, thus avoiding the additional expense of handling it a second time. The heater pipes were laid somewhat slanting, the fire being built in the lower end. A 10-ft. flue furnished sufficient draft for all occasions. With this arrangement it was possible to heat the gravel to a temperature of 80 or 90 F. even during the coldest weather. Steam for heating the water was available from the plant. The temperature at which the concrete was placed in the forms was kept between 65 and 75 F. This was regulated by the man on the mixer platform by varying the temperature of the water to suit the conditions of the gravel. When the ingredients were heated in this manner it was found advisable to mix the concrete "sloppy," using even more water than would be commonly used in the so-called "sloppy" concrete. No difficulty was experienced with temperature cracks if the concrete, when placed, was not above 75 F. All cracks of this nature which did appear were of no consequence, as they never extended more than in. below the surface. The concrete was placed in as large masses as possible. It was covered nights with sacks and canvas and, when the walls were less than 3 ft. in width, the outside of the forms was lagged with tar paper. An air space was always left between the surface of the concrete and the covering. Under these conditions there was sufficient heat in the mass to prevent its freezing for several days, which was ample time for permanent setting.

During the construction in 1902 of the Wachusett Dam at Clinton, Mass., for the Metropolitan Water Works Commission the following procedures were followed in laying concrete in freezing weather: After November 15 all masonry was laid in Portland cement, and after November 28 the sand and water were heated and salt added in the proportion of 4 lbs. per barrel of cement. The sand was heated in a bin, 161510 ft. deep, provided with about 20 coils of 2-in. pipe, passing around the inside of the bin. The sand, which was dumped in the top of the bin and drawn from the bottom, remained there long enough to become warm. The salt for each batch of mortar was dissolved in the water which was heated by steam; steam was also used to thaw ice from the stone masonry. The laying of masonry was not started on mornings when the temperature was lower than 18 F. above zero, and not even with this temperature unless the day was clear and higher temperature expected. At the close of each day the masonry built was covered with canvas.

In the construction of dams for Huronian Company's power development in Canada a large part of the concrete work in dams, and also in power house foundations, was done in winter, with the temperature varying from a few degrees of frost to 15 degrees below zero, and on several occasions much lower. No difficulty was found in securing good concrete work, the only precaution taken being to heat the mixing water by turning a -in. steam pipe into the water barrel supplying the mixer, and, during the process of mixing, to use a jet of live steam in the mixer, keeping the cylinder closed by wooden coverings during the process of mixing. No attempt was made to heat sand or stone. In all the winter work care was taken to use only cement which would attain its initial set in not more than 65 minutes.

In constructing a concrete arch bridge at Plano, Ill., the sand and gravel were heated previous to mixing and the mixed concrete after placing was kept from freezing by playing a steam jet from a hose connected with the boiler of the mixer on the surface of the concrete until it was certain that initial set had taken place. Readings taken with thermometers showed that in no instance did the temperature of the concrete fall below 32 F. within a period of 10 or 12 hours after placing.

From experience gained in doing miscellaneous railway work in cold weather Mr. L. J. Hotchkiss gives the following:

"For thin reinforced walls, it is not safe to rely on heating the water alone or even the water and sand, but the stone also must be heated and the concrete when it goes into the forms should be steaming hot. For mass walls the stone need not be heated except in very cold weather. Where concrete is mixed in small quantities the water can be heated by a wood fire, and if a wood fire be kept burning over night on top of the piles of stone and sand a considerable quantity can be heated. The fire can be kept going during the day and moved back on the pile as the heated material is used. This plan requires a quantity of fuel which in most cases is prohibitive and is not sufficient to supply a power mixer. For general use steam is far better.

"A convenient method is to build a long wooden box 8 or 10 in. square with numerous holes bored in its sides. This is laid on the ground, connected with a steam pipe and covered with sand, stone or gravel. The steam escaping through the holes in the box will heat over night a pile of sand, or sand and gravel, 8 or 10 ft. high. Perforated pipes can be substituted for boxes. Material can be heated more rapidly if the steam be allowed to escape in the pile than if it is confined in pipes which are not perforated. Crushed stone requires much more heat than sand or sand and gravel mixed because of the greater volume of air spaces. In many cases material which has already been unloaded must be heated. The expense of putting steam boxes or pipes under it is considerable. To avoid this one or more steam jets may be used, the end of the jet pipe being pushed several feet into the pile of material. If the jets are connected up with steam hose they are easily moved from place to place. It is difficult to heat stone in this way except in moderate weather.

"On mass work and at such temperatures as are met with in this latitude (Chicago, Ill.) it is not usually necessary to protect concrete which has been placed hot except in the top of the form. This can be done by covering the top of the form with canvas and running a jet of steam under it. If canvas is not available boards and straw or manure answer the purpose. If heat is kept on for 36 hours after completion, this is sufficient, except in unusually cold weather. The above treatment is all that is required for reinforced retaining walls of ordinary height. But where box culverts or arches carrying heavy loads must be placed in service as soon as possible, the only safe way is to keep the main part of the structure warm until the concrete is thoroughly hardened. Forms for these structures can be closed at the ends and stoves or salamanders kept going inside, or steam heat may be used. The outside may be covered with canvas or boards, and straw and steam jets run underneath. After the concrete has set enough to permit the removal of the outer forms of box culverts, fires may be built near the side walls and the concrete seasoned rapidly. Where structures need not be loaded until after the arrival of warm weather, heat may be applied for 36 hours, and the centering left in place until the concrete has hardened. Careful inspection of winter concrete should be made before loads are applied. In this connection it may be noted that concrete which has been partly seasoned and then frozen, closely resembles thoroughly seasoned concrete. Pieces broken off with a smooth fracture through all the stones and showing no frost marks, when thawed out, can be broken with the hands."

In building Portland cement concrete foundations for the West End St. Ry., Boston, and the Brooklyn Heights R. R., much of the work was done in winter. A large watertight tank was constructed, of such size that three skips or boxes of stone could be lowered into it. The tank was filled with water, and a jet of steam kept the water hot in the coldest weather. The broken stone was heated through to the temperature of the water in a few minutes. One of the stone boxes was then hoisted out, and dumped on one side of the mixing machine, and then run through the machine with sand, cement and water. The concrete was wheeled to place without delay and rammed in 12-in. layers. The heat was retained until the cement was set. In severely cold weather the sand was heated and the mixing water also. A covering of hay or gunnysacks may be used.

COVERING AND HOUSING THE WORK.—Methods of covering concrete to protect it from light frosts such as may occur over night will suggest themselves to all; sacking, shavings, straw, etc., may all be used. Covering wall forms with tar paper nailed to the studding so as to form with the lagging a cellular covering is an excellent device and will serve in very cold weather if the sand and stone have been heated. From these simple precautions the methods used may range to the elaborate systems of housing described in the following paragraphs.

Method of Housing in Dam, Chaudiere Falls, Quebec.—In constructing a dam for the water power plant at Chaudiere Falls, P. Q., the work was housed in. The wing dam and its end piers aggregated about 250 ft. in length by about 20 ft. in width. A house 100 ft. long and 24 ft. wide was constructed in sections about 10 ft. square connected by cleats with bolts and nuts. This house was put up over the wing dam. It was 20 ft. high to the eaves, with a pitched roof, and the ends were closed up; in the roof on the forebay side were hatchways with sliding doors along the whole length. Small entrance doors for the workmen were provided in the ends of the building. The house was heated by a number of cylindrical sheet-iron stoves about 18 ins. in diameter by 24 ins. high, burning coke; thermometers placed at different points in the shed gave warning to stop work when the temperature fell below freezing, which, however, rarely occurred. Mixing boards were located in the shed, and concrete, sand and broken stone were supplied in skipfuls by guy derricks located in the forebay, which passed the material through the hatchways in the roof, the proper hatchway being opened for the purpose and quickly closed. The mortar was first mixed on a board, and then a skip-load of stone was dumped into the middle of the batch and the whole well mixed. The water was made lukewarm by introducing a steam-jet into several casks which were kept full. The sand was heated outside in the forebay on an ordinary sand heater. The broken stone was heated in piles by a steam-jet; a pipe line on the ground was made up of short lengths of straight pipe alternating with T-sections—turned up. The stone was piled 3 to 4 ft. deep over the pipe and a little steam turned into the pipe. Several such piles kept going all the time supplied enough stone for the work; the stone was never overheated, and was moist enough not to dry out the mortar when mixed with it. In this manner the concreting was successfully carried on and the wing dam built high enough to keep high water out of the forebay.

Some danger from freezing was also encountered the next season, when the last part of the wing dam was being constructed. This work was done when the temperature was close to freezing, and it became necessary to keep the freshly placed concrete warm over night. This was done by covering the work loosely with canvas, under which the nozzle of a steam hose was introduced. By keeping a little steam going all night the concrete was easily kept above freezing temperature.

Method of Housing in Building Work.—The following method of housing in building work is used by Mr. E. L. Ransome. The feature of the system is that the enclosing structure is made up of a combination of portable units which can be used over and over again in different jobs. The construction is best explained in connection with sketches.

Figure 43 shows a first floor wall column with the wall girder surmounting it and the connecting floor system. It will be seen that the open sides are enclosed by canvas curtains and the floor slab is covered with wood shutters. The curtains are composed of separate pieces so devised that they may be attached to each other by means of snaps and eyes; one of these curtain units is shown by Fig. 42. Referring now to Fig. 43, the curtain A is held by the tying-rings to a continuous string piece B, the upper portion or flap D being held down by a metal bar or other heavy object so as to lap over the floor covers E. The lower edge of the curtain is attached to the string piece C. The sketch has been made to show how the curtain adjusts itself to irregular projections such as the supports for a wall girder form; to prevent the curtain tearing on such projections it is well to cover or wrap the rough edges with burlap, bagging or other convenient material. The details of the wooden floor covers are shown by Fig. 44; they are constructed so as to give a hollow space between them and the floor and holes are left in the floor slab as at H, Fig. 43, to permit the warm air from below to enter this hollow space. This warm air is provided by heating the enclosed story of the building by any convenient adequate means. In constructing factory buildings, 50200 ft. in plan at Rochester, N. Y., Mr. Ransome used a line of 3/4 to 3/8-in. steam pipe located at floor level and running around all four sides and a similar line running lengthwise of the building at the center, these pipes discharging live steam through openings into the enclosed space. In addition to the steam piping 10 braziers in which coke fires were kept were scattered around the floor. This equipment kept the enclosed story, 50100 ft.13 ft. high, at a temperature of 80 F. and at temperature of about 40 F. between the floor top and its board covering. The work was not stopped at any time because of cold and the temperatures outside ranged from zero to 10 above.



Good design in concrete as well as in steel, masonry and wood, requires that the structure shall be good to look at. This means that the proportions must be good and that the surface finish must be pleasing. Good proportions are a matter of design but a pleasing surface finish is a matter of construction. Many, perhaps the majority of, concrete structures do not have a pleasing surface finish; the surface is irregular, uneven in texture, and stained or discolored or of lifeless hue. The reasons for these faults and the possible means of remedying them are matters that concern the construction engineer and the contractor.

Imperfections in the surface of concrete are due to one or more of the following causes: (1) Imperfectly made forms; (2) imperfectly mixed concrete; (3) carelessly placed concrete; (4) use of forms with dirt or cement adhering to the boards; (5) efflorescence and discoloration of the surface after the forms are removed.

IMPERFECTLY MADE FORMS.—In well mixed and placed concrete the film of cement paste which flushes to the surface will take the impress of every flaw in the surface of the forms. It will even show the grain marks in well dressed lumber. From this it will be seen how very difficult it is so to mold concrete that the surface will not bear evidence of the mold used. The task is impracticable of perfect accomplishment and the degree of perfection to which it can be carried depends upon the workmanship expended in form construction. Forms with a smooth and even surface are difficult and expensive to secure. It is impracticable in the first place to secure lagging boards dressed to exact thickness and in the second place it is impracticable to secure perfect carpenter work; joints cannot be got perfectly close and a nail omitted here or there leaves a board free to warp. From this point on the use of imperfectly sized lumber and careless carpentry can go to almost any degree of roughness in the form work. Only approximately smooth and unmarked concrete surfaces can be secured in plain wooden forms and this only with the very best kind of form construction. So much for the limitations of form work in the matter of securing surface finish. These limitations may be reduced in various ways. Joint marks may be eliminated wholly or partly by pointing the joints with clay or mortar or by pasting strips of paper or cloth over them, or the whole surface of the lagging can be papered; by the use of oiled paper there will be little trouble from the paper sticking. Grain marks and surface imperfections can be reduced by oiling the lumber so as to fill the pores or by first oiling and then filling the coat of oil with fine sand blown or cast against the boards.

The preceding remarks are of course based on the assumption that as nearly as possible a smooth and even surface finish is desired. If something less than this is sufficient, and in many cases it is, form produced surface defects become negligible in the proportion that they do not exceed the standards of roughness and irregularity considered permissible by the engineer and these standards are individual with the engineer; what one considers excessive roughness and irregularity another may consider as amply even and smooth. The point to be kept in mind is that beyond a certain state of evenness and regularity form produced surfaces are impracticable to obtain, because to construct forms of the necessary perfection to obtain them costs far more than it does to employ special supplementary finishing processes.

Surface blemishes due to dirt or cement adhering to the form boards have no excuse if the engineer or contractor cares to avoid them. It is a simple matter to keep the lagging clean and free from such accumulations.

IMPERFECT MIXING AND PLACING.—Imperfectly mixed and placed concrete gives irregularly colored, pitted and honeycombed surfaces with here a patch of smooth mortar and there a patch of exposed stone. Careful mixing and placing will avoid this defect, or all chance of it may be eliminated by using surface coatings of special mixtures. There is no great difficulty, however, in obtaining a reasonably homogeneous surface with concrete; the task merely requires that the mixing shall be reasonably uniform and homogeneous and that in placing this mixture the spading next to the lagging shall be done in such a way as to pull the coarse stones back and flush the mortar to the surface. Spading forks are excellent for this purpose. A better tool is a special spade made with a perforated blade; this special spade costs $3.

EFFLORESCENCE.—Efflorescence is the term applied to the whitish or yellowish accumulations which often appear on concrete surfaces. "Whitewash" is another name given to these blotches. Efflorescence is due to certain salts leaching out of the concrete and accumulating into thin layers where the water evaporates on the surface. These salts are most probably sulphates of calcium and magnesium, both of which are contained in many cements and both of which are slightly soluble in water. Efflorescence is very erratic in its appearance. Some concretes never exhibit it; in some it may not appear for several years, and in others it shows soon after construction and may appear in great quantities. The most effective way to prevent efflorescence would naturally be to use cements entirely free from sulphates, chlorides or whatever other soluble salts are the cause of the phenomenon, but the likelihood of engineers resorting to the trouble of such selection, except in rare instances, is not great, even if they knew what cements to select, so that other means must be sought. The most common place for efflorescence to appear in walls is at the horizontal junction of two days' work or where a coping is placed after the main body of the wall has been completed. The reason of this seems to be that the salt solutions seep down through the concrete until they strike the nearly impervious film of cement that forms on the top surface of the old concrete before the new is added, and then they follow along this impervious film to the face of the wall. The authors have suggested that this cause might be remedied by ending the day's work by a layer whose top has a slight slope down toward the rear of the wall or perhaps by placing all the concrete in similarly sloping layers. Mr. C. H. Cartlidge is authority for the statement that this leaching at joints can be largely done away with by the simple process of washing the top surface of concrete which has been allowed to set over night by scrubbing it with wire brushes in conjunction with thorough flushing with a hose. But efflorescence frequently appears on the faces of walls built without construction joints and in which a wet concrete is puddled in and not tamped in layers, and here other means are obviously essential. Waterproofing the surface of the wall should be effective so long as the waterproofing lasts; indeed one of the claims made for some of these waterproofing compounds is that efflorescence is prevented. The various waterproofing mixtures capable of such use will be found described in Chapter XXV. Failing in any or all of these methods of preventing efflorescence the engineer must resort to remedial measures. The saline coating must be scraped, or chipped, or better, washed away with acids.

Efflorescence was removed from a concrete bridge at Washington, D. C, by using hydrochloric (muriatic) acid and common scrubbing brushes; 30 gals. of acid and 36 scrubbing brushes were used to clean 250 sq. yds. of concrete. The acid was diluted with 4 or 5 parts water to 1 of acid; water was constantly played with a hose on the concrete while being cleaned to prevent penetration of the acid. One house-front cleaner and 5 laborers were employed, and the total cost was $150, or 60 cts. per sq. yd. This high cost was due to the difficulty of cleaning the balustrades. It is thought that the cost of cleaning the spandrels and wing walls did not exceed 20 cts. per sq. yd. The cleaning was perfectly satisfactory. An experiment was made with wire brushes without acid, but the cost was $2.40 per sq. yd. The flour removed by the wire brushes was found by analysis to be silicate of lime. Acetic acid was tried in place of muriatic, but required more scrubbing.

SPADED AND TROWELED FINISHES.—With wet-concrete and ordinarily good form construction a reasonably good surface appearance can be obtained by spading and troweling. For doing the spading a common gardener's hoe, straightened out so that the blade is nearly in line with the handle will do good work. The blade of the tool is pushed down next to the lagging and the stone pulled back giving the grout opportunity to flush to the face. Troweling, that is troweling without grout wash, requires, of course, that the concrete be stripped before it has become too hard to be worked. As troweling is seldom required except for tops of copings and corners it is generally practicable to bare the concrete while it is still fairly green. In this condition the edges of copings, etc., can be rounded by edging tools such as cement sidewalk workers use.

PLASTER AND STUCCO FINISH.—The ordinary concrete surface with a film-like cement covering will not hold plaster or stucco. To get proper adhesion the concrete surface must be scrubbed, treated with acid or tooled before the plaster or stucco is applied and this makes an expensive finish since either of the preliminary treatments constitutes a good finish by itself. When a coarse grained facing is made of very dry mixtures, as described in a succeeding section, it has been made to hold plaster very well on inside work. In general plaster and stucco finishes can be classed as uncertain even when the concrete surface has been prepared to take them, and when the concrete has not been so prepared such finishes can be classed as absolutely unreliable.

MORTAR AND CEMENT FACING.—Where a surface finish of fine texture or of some special color or composition is desired the concrete is often faced with a coat of mortar or, sometimes, neat cement paste or grout. Mortar facing is laid from 1 to 2 ins. thick, usually 1-ins., the mortar being a 1-1, 1-2 or 1-3 mixture and of cement and ordinary sand where no special color or texture is sought. This facing often receives a future special finish as described in succeeding sections, but it is more usually used as left by the forms or at best with only a troweling or brushing with grout. Engineers nearly always require that the mortar facing and the concrete backing shall be constructed simultaneously. This is accomplished by using facing forms, two kinds of which are shown by Figs. 45 and 46. In use the sheet steel plates are placed on edge the proper distance back of the lagging and the space between them and the lagging is filled with the facing mortar. The concrete backing is then filled in to the height of the plate, which is then lifted vertically and the backing and facing thoroughly bonded by tamping them together. The form shown by Fig. 46, though somewhat the more expensive, is the preferable one, since the attached ribs keep the plate its exact distance from the lagging without any watching by the men, while the flare at the top facilitates filling. The facing mortar has to be rather carefully mixed; it must be wet enough to work easily and completely into the narrow space and yet not be so soft that in tamping the backing the stones are easily forced through it. Also since the facing cannot proceed faster than the backing the mortar has to be mixed in small batches so that it is always fresh. A cubic yard of mortar will make 216 sq. ft. of 1-in. facing. Cement facing is seldom made more than 1 in. thick. If placed as a paste the process is essentially the same as for placing mortar. When grout is used a form is not used; place and tamp the concrete in 6 to 8-in layers, then shove a common gardener's spade down between the concrete and the lagging and pull back the concrete about an inch and pour the opening full of grout and withdraw the spade. If this work is carefully done there will be very few stones showing when the forms are removed. When stiff pastes or mortars are used the contractor often places the facing by plastering the lagging just ahead of the concreting; this process requires constant watching to see that the plaster coat does not slough or peel off before it is backed up with concrete.

SPECIAL FACING MIXTURES FOR MINIMIZING FORM MARKS.—The ordinary facing mixture of mortar or cement is so fine grained and plastic that it readily takes the impress of every irregularity in the form lagging; where a particularly good finish is desired this makes necessary subsequent finishing treatments. To avoid these subsequent treatments and at the same time to reduce the form marks, special facing mixtures, which will not take the imprint of and which will minimize rather than exaggerate every imperfection in the forms, have been used with very considerable success in the concrete work done for the various Chicago, Ill., parks. The mixture used consists usually of 1 part cement, 3 parts fine limestone screenings and 3 parts -in. crushed limestone; these materials are mixed quite dry so no mortar will flush to the surface when rammed hard. With moderately good form work the imprint of the joints is hardly noticeable and grain marks do not show at all. For thin building walls the special mixture is used throughout the wall, but for more massive structures it is used only for the facing.

GROUT WASHES.—Grout finishes serve only to fill the small pits and pores in the surface coating; cavities or joint lines, if any exist, must be removed by plastering or rubbing before the grout is applied or else by applying the grout by rubbing. In ordinary work the grout is applied with a brush after the holes have been plastered and the joint marks rubbed down. The grout to be applied with a brush should be about the consistency of whitewash; a 1 cement 2 sand mixture is a good one. Where a more perfect finish of dark color is desired the grout of neat cement and lampblack in equal parts may be applied as follows: Two coats with a brush, the second coat after the first has dried, and one coat by sweeping with a small broom. The broom marks give a slightly rough surface. Instead of a liquid grout a stiff grout or semi-liquid mortar applied with a trowel or float can be used. In this case the grout should be applied in a very thin coat and troweled or floated so that only the pores are filled and no body of mortar left on the surface or else it will scale off. A more expensive but very superior grout finish is obtained by rubbing and scouring the wet grout into the surface with cement mortar bricks, carborundum bricks, or such like abrasive materials. A 1 cement 1 sand mortar brick, with a handle molded into it, and having about the dimensions of an ordinary building brick makes a good tool for rubbing down joint marks as well as for applying grout.

FINISHING BY SCRUBBING AND WASHING.—A successful finish for concrete structures consists in removing the forms while the concrete is green and then scrubbing the surface with a brush and water until the film of cement is removed and the clean sand or stone left exposed. This method has been chiefly used in concrete work done by the city of Philadelphia, Pa., Mr. Henry M. Quimby, Bridge Engineer. Figure 47 shows an example of scrubbed finish, but of course the texture or color of the surface will vary with the character of the face mixture and the hue of the sand or chips used. Warm tones can be secured by the use of crushed brick or red gravel; a dark colored stone with light sand gives a color much resembling granite; fine gravel or coarse sand gives a texture like sandstone. In much of this work done in Philadelphia a mixture composed of 1 part cement, 2 parts bank sand and 3 parts crushed and cleaned black, slaty shale from 3/8 to 1/4 in. in size, has been used with good results both in appearance and in durability. The scrubbing is done with an ordinary house scrubbing brush at the same time flushing the concrete with water from a sponge or bucket or, preferably, from a hose. In general the washing is done on the day following the placing of the concrete but the proper time depends upon the rapidity with which the concrete sets. In warm weather 24 hours after placing is generally about right, but in cold weather 48 hours may be required, and in very cold weather the concrete has been left to set a week and the scrubbing has been successful. With the concrete in just the proper condition a few turns of the brush with plenty of water will clean away the cement, but if a little too hard wire brushes must be used and if still harder a scouring brick or an ordinary brick with sand is necessary to cut the cement film. The process requires that the forms shall be so constructed that the lagging can be removed when the concrete has reached the proper age for treatment. Mr. Quimby sets the studs 8 to 12 ins. from the face and braces the lagging boards against them by cleats nailed so as to be easily loosened. His practice is to use boards in one width the full depth of the course and to nail a triangular bead strip to the face at each edge. These bead strips mark the joints between courses as shown by Fig. 48. When a "board" is taken off it is cleaned and oiled and reset for a new course by inserting the bottom bead strip in the half indentation left by the top bead in the concrete. This is, of course, for work of such size that one course is a day's work of concreting. In such work, two carpenters with perhaps one helper will remove a course of "boards" say 100 ft. long in from 4 to 8 hours. While forms of the kind described cost more to construct there is a saving by repeated re-use of the lagging boards. The indentations or beads marking the courses serve perfectly to conceal the construction joints. The cost of scrubbing varies with the hardness of the concrete; when in just the right condition for effective work one man can scrub 100 sq. ft. in an hour; on the other hand it has taken one man a whole day to scrub and scour the same area when the concrete was allowed to get hard.

FINISHING BY ETCHING WITH ACID.—The acid etched or acid wash process of finishing concrete consists in first washing the surface with an acid preparation to remove the surface cement and expose the sand and stone, then with an alkaline solution to remove all free acid, and finally, with clear water in sufficient volume to cleanse and flush the surface thoroughly. The work can be done at any time after the forms are removed and does not require skilled labor; any man with enough judgment to determine when the etching has progressed far enough can do the work. This process has been very extensively used in Chicago by the South Park Commission, Mr. Linn White, Engineer. In this work the concrete is faced with a mixture of cement, sand and stone chips, any stone being used that is not affected by acid. Limestone is excluded. Where some color is desired the facing can be mixed with mineral pigments or with colored sand or stone chips. This acid wash process has been patented, the patentees being represented by Mr. J. K. Irvine, Sioux City, Ia.

TOOLING CONCRETE SURFACES.—Concrete surfaces may be bush-hammered or otherwise tool finished like natural stone, exactly the same methods and tools being used. Tooling must wait, however, until the concrete has become fairly hard. As the result of his experience in tooling some 43,000 sq. ft. of concrete, Mr. W. J. Douglas states that the concrete should be at least 30 days old and, preferably, 60 days old, if possible, when bush-hammered. There is a great variation in the costs given for tooling concrete. Mr. C. R. Neher states that a concrete face can be bush-hammered by an ordinary laborer at the rate of 100 sq. ft. in 10 hours or at a cost of 1 cts. per square foot with wages at 15 cts. per hour. Mr. E. L. Ransome states that bush-hammering costs from 1 to 2 cts. per square foot, wages of common laborers being 15 cts. per hour. The walls of the Pacific Borax Co.'s factory at Bayonne, N. J., were dressed by hand at the rate of 100 to 200 sq. ft. per man per day; using pneumatic hammer one man was able to dress from 300 to 600 sq. ft. per day. In constructing the Harvard Stadium the walls were dressed with pneumatic hammers fitted with a tool with a saw-tooth cutting blade like an ice chopper. Men timed by one of the authors on a visit to this work were dressing wall surface at the rate of 50 sq. ft. per hour, but the contractor stated that the average work per man per day was 200 sq. ft. Common laborers were employed. The average cost of bush-hammering some 43,000 sq. ft. of plain and ornamental blocks for the Connecticut Avenue Bridge at Washington, D. C, was 26 cts. per square foot. Both pneumatic tools and hand tooling were employed and the work of both is lumped in the above cost, but hand tooling cost about twice as much as machine tooling. The work was done by high-priced men, foremen stone cutters at $5 per day and stone cutters at $4 per day. Moreover a grade of work equal to the best bush-hammered stone work was demanded. Full details of the cost of this work are given in Chapter XVII. Mr. H. M. Quimby states that the cost of tooling concrete runs from 3 cts. to 12 cts. per square foot, according to the character and extent of the work and the equipment.

GRAVEL OR PEBBLE SURFACE FINISH.—An effective variation of the ordinary stone concrete surface is secured by using an aggregate of rounded pebbles of nearly uniform size and by scrubbing or etching remove the cement enough to leave the pebbles about half exposed at the surface. In constructing a bridge at Washington, D. C, the concrete was a 1-2-5 gravel mixture of 1 to 2-in. pebbles for the spandrels and arch ring face and of 1-in. pebbles for the parapet walls. The forms were removed while the concrete was still green and the cement scrubbed from around the faces and sides of the pebbles using wire brushes and water. Tests showed that at 12 hours age the concrete was not hard enough to prevent the pebbles from being brushed loose and that at 36 hours age it was too hard to permit the mortar to be scrubbed away without excessive labor; the best results were obtained when the concrete was about 24 hours old.

COLORED FACING.—Where occasion calls for concrete of a color or tint other than is obtained by the use of the ordinary materials either an aggregate of a color suitable for the purpose may be used or the mixture may be colored by the addition of some mineral pigment. The first method is by all odds the preferable one; it gives a color which will endure for all time and it in no way injures the strength or durability of the concrete. Mineral pigments may be secured from any of several well-known firms who make them for coloring concrete, and they may be had in almost every shade. Directions for using these colors can be had from the makers. All but a very few of these mineral colors injure the strength and durability of the concrete if used in amounts sufficient to produce the desired color and all of them fade in time. The best method of producing a colored mortar or concrete facing is to mix the cement with screenings produced by crushing a natural stone of the desired color.



Concrete being a plastic material when deposited requires molds or forms to give it the shape required and to maintain it in that shape until it has hardened to sufficient strength to require no exterior support. The material used in constructing forms is wood. Beyond the use of metal molds for building blocks for sewer construction and for ornamental and a few architectural shapes, iron and steel are used in form construction only as ties and clamps to hold parts of wood forms together—except in rare instances. A discussion of form construction, therefore, is essentially a discussion of wood forms.

Before taking up this discussion, however, attention deserves to be called to the opportunities for the development of metal forms. Lumber is costly and is growing more scarce and costly all the time. A substitute which can be repeatedly used and whose durability and salvage value are great presents itself in steel if only a system of form units can be devised which is reasonably adjustable to varying conditions. Cylindrical steel column molds have been used to some extent and are discussed in Chapter XIX. In Chapter XVI we describe a steel form for side walls of a tunnel lining. In some building work done in the northwest corrugated steel panels or sheets have been used as lagging for floor slab centers. A number of styles of metal forms or centers for sewer and tunnel work have been devised and used and are discussed in Chapter XXI. Despite this considerable use of metal for special forms nothing approaching its general use like wood has been attempted, and the field lies wide open for invention.

The economics of form construction deserve the most serious attention of the engineer and contractor. It is seldom that form work, outside of very massive foundation construction, costs less than 50 cts. per cubic yard of concrete in place, and it is not unusual in the more complex structures for it to cost $5 per cubic yard of concrete in place. These costs include the cost of materials and of framing, handling and removing the forms but they do not embrace extremely high or low costs. It is evident without further demonstration that time spent in planning economic form construction for any considerable job of concrete work is time spent profitably.

In the following sections we review the general considerations which enter into all form work. Specific details of construction and specific costs of form work are given in succeeding chapters where each class of concrete work is discussed separately. This chapter is intended principally to familiarize the reader with general principles governing form work.

EFFECT OF DESIGN ON FORM WORK.—The designing engineer can generally aid largely in reducing the cost of form work if he will. This is particularly true in building work in which, also, form costs run high. By arranging his beam spacing and sizes with a little care he will enable the contractor to use his forms over and over and thus greatly reduce the expense for lumber. In the same way columns may be made of dimensions which will avoid frequent remaking of column forms. Panel recesses in walls may be made the thickness of a board or plank, instead of some odd depth that will require a special thickness of lumber, or beams may be made of such size that certain dimension widths of lumber can be used without splitting. In general, carpenter work costs more than concrete and where a little excess concrete may be contributed to save carpenter work it pays to contribute it. The figures given in Chapter XIX, showing the reduction in lumber cost coming from using the same material over a second or third time, should be studied in this connection. The leading firms of engineering-contractors which both design and construct reinforced concrete buildings fully realize these opportunities and take advantage of them, but the general practitioner, particularly if he be an architect, does not do so. The authors have personal knowledge of one building in which a slight change in spacing and dimensions of beams—a change that would have been of no architectural or structural significance—would have reduced the successful contractor's bid for the work by $10,000. The designing engineer should hold it as a cardinal point in design that form work, and we will add here reinforcement also, should so far as possible be made interchangeable from bay to bay and from floor to floor.

KIND OF LUMBER.—The local market and the character of the work generally determine the kind of lumber to be used for forms. The hardwoods are out of the question for form construction because they cost too much and are too hard to work. Among the soft woods white pine costs too much for general use and hemlock is unreliable when exposed to the weather. This reduces the list generally available to spruce, Norway pine and the southern pines. Neither green nor kiln-dried lumber is so good as partially dry stuff, since the kiln-dried lumber swells and crushes or bulges the joints and green lumber does not swell enough to close the joints. Forms have to withstand, temporarily, very heavy loads, therefore, knots, shakes and rot must be watched after. The choosing of good lumber is a simple process and the contractor who wants to be able to rely on his forms will look after it carefully, without going to extremes which the work does not warrant.

FINISH AND DIMENSIONS OF LUMBER.—Dressing the lumber serves four important purposes: It permits the forms to be constructed more nearly true to line and surface; it permits tighter joint construction; it gives a smoother surface finish to the concrete, and it facilitates the removal and cleaning of the forms. Undressed lumber may be used for the backs of walls and abutments, for work below ground and wherever a smooth and true surface is unimportant; there are some contractors, however, who prefer lumber dressed on one side even for these purposes because of the smaller cost of cleaning. For floor and wall forms the lumber should always be dressed on one side; where the work is very particular both sides should be dressed, and in special cases the sides of the joists or studs against which the lagging lies may be dressed. For ordinary work a square edge finish does well enough but for fine face work a tongue and groove or bevel edge finish is preferable. The tongue and groove finish gives a somewhat tighter joint on first laying but it does not take up swelling or resist wear so well as the bevel edge finish.

When ordering new lumber for forms the contractor will save much future work and waste if he does it from plans. Timber cut to length and width to go directly into the forms reduces both mill and carpenter work on the site, and in many cases it can be so ordered if ordered from plans. Waste is another item that is reduced by ordering from plans; with lumber costing its present prices crop ends run into money very rapidly. When old lumber from a previous job is to be used the contractor can only make the best of his stock, but even here form plans will result in saving. Sort and pile the old lumber according to sizes and make a schedule of the quantity of each size on hand; this schedule in the hands of the man who designs the forms and of the head carpenter will materially reduce waste and carpenter work. It is often possible especially in making concrete foundations for frame buildings to use lumber for forms which is subsequently used for floor beams, etc., in the building.

Contractors differ greatly in their ideas of the proper thickness of lumber to use for various parts of form work. Generally speaking 1 to 2-in. stuff is used for wall lagging held by studding and 1-in. stuff when built into panels; for floor lagging 1-in stuff with joists spaced up to 24 ins. or when built into panels; for column lagging 1 to 2-in. stuff; for sides of girders 1, 1, 1 and 2-in. stuff are all used; and for bottoms of girders, 1 and 2-in. stuff. These figures are by no means invariable as a study of the numerous examples of actual form work given throughout this book will show.

COMPUTATION OF FORMS.—If the minimum amount of lumber consistent with a given deflection is to be used in form work the sizes and spacing of the supporting members must be actually computed for the loading. As a practical matter of fact the amount of material used and the arrangement of the supports are often subject to requirements of unit construction, clearance, staging, etc., which supersede the matter of economical adaptation of material to loading. The designing of form work is at best, therefore, a compromise between rules of thumb and scientific calculation. In wall work empirical methods are nearly always followed. In girder and floor slab work, on the other hand, design is commonly based on computation.

In the matter of loads the general practice is to assume the weight of concrete as a liquid at some amount which it is considered will also cover the weight of men, barrows, runways and current construction materials. The assumed weights vary. One prominent engineering firm assumes the load to be the dead weight of concrete as a liquid and the load due to placing and specifies that the forms shall be designed to carry this load without deflection. Mr. W. J. Douglas, Engineer of Bridges, Washington, D. C, assumes for lateral thrust on wall forms that concrete is a liquid of half its own weight, or 75 lbs. per cu. ft. Mr. Sanford E. Thompson, Consulting Engineer, Newton Highlands, Mass., assumes for dead load, weight of concrete including reinforcement as 154 lbs. per cu. ft., and for live load, 75 lbs. per sq. ft. on slabs and 50 lbs. per sq. ft. in figuring beam and girder forms and struts.

The assumed safe stresses in form work may be taken somewhat higher than is usual in timber construction, because of the temporary character of the load. In calculating beams the safe extreme fiber stress may be assumed at 750 lbs. per sq. in. The safe stress in pounds per square inch for struts or posts is shown by Table XV, compiled by Mr. Sanford E. Thompson. The sizes of struts given are those most commonly used in form work.


—Dimensions of Strut.— Length Strut. 34-in. 44-in. 66-in. 88-in. Feet. Lbs. Lbs. Lbs. Lbs.

14 ..... 700 900 1,100 12 600 800 1,000 1,200 10 700 900 1,100 1,200 8 850 1,050 1,200 1,200 6 1,000 1,200 1,200 1,200

In using this table it must be borne in mind that bracing both ways reduces the length of a long strut. For example, if a strut 24 ft. long be divided into three panels by bracing the length of strut so far as the table is concerned is 8 ft.

As stated above wall forms are rarely computed. Experience has shown that the maximum spans of various thicknesses of lagging between supports are: 1-in. boards, 24 ins.; 1-in. plank, 4 ft., and 2-in. plank, 5 ft. Studding will vary in size from 24 to 46 ins., strutted and braced horizontally to meet conditions. Column forms, like wall forms, are rarely computed, yokes being spaced 2 ft. apart for 1-in. lagging up to 3 to 3 ft. apart for 2-in. lagging.

Floor forms, including girder and slab forms, are computed on the basis of a maximum deflection and not on the basis of strength. Sagging forms are liable to rupture the beam or slab. The amount of deflection considered allowable varies from no deflection up to 3/8 to in. Assuming the deflection, permissible thickness of the timber necessary to carry the load is determined by the formulas:

d = 5 W l 384 E I (1)


bh I = —- (2) 12

Formula (1) is the familiar one for computing deflection for a beam supported (not fixed) at the ends. Mr. Sanford F. Thompson suggests using the constant {3/384}, which is an approximate mean between {1/384} that for beams with fixed ends and {5/384} that for beams with ends supported. Formula (1) then becomes

d = 3 W l 384 E I,

in which as above:

d = maximum deflection in inches. W = total load on plank or joist. l = length between supports in inches. E = modulus of elasticity of lumber. I = moment of inertia of cross-section. b = breadth of lumber. h = depth of lumber.

The deflection, d, being assumed formula (1) is solved for I, moment of inertia. Substituting the value of I in formula (2) we can readily estimate the size of joist or thickness of plank to use.—For spruce, yellow pine and the other woods commonly used in form work E may be taken equal to 1,300,000 lbs. per sq. in.

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION.—The main points to be kept in mind in the original design and construction of forms are: Economy in lumber, economy in carpenter work, and economy in taking down, carrying and re-erecting. Economy in lumber is not merely the matter of using the least amount of lumber that will serve the purpose considering the form as an isolated structure. It may be possible to build a column form, for example, of very light material which will serve to mold a single column, but it is evident that we could better afford to use twice this amount of lumber if by doing so we obtained a form which could be used over again to mold a second column; no more lumber per column would be used while the cost of erecting a form already framed is less than the cost of framing a new form. Economy in lumber in form construction involves, therefore, recognition of the economies to be gained by repeated use of the lumber. A certain amount of additional sturdiness is required in the shape of heavier form lumber and stronger framing to provide for the wear and tear of repeated use, and it is always economy to provide it when repeated use is possible. The thing can be overdone, however; there is an economical limit to repeated use, as we demonstrate further on. In the matter of economy in carpenter work, a certain amount of extra work put into framing the forms to withstand the stress of repeated use is economically justifiable. Also carpenter work put into framing which substitutes clamps and wedges for nails is sound economy; generally speaking a skillful form carpenter is recognized by the scarcity of nails he uses. The possibility of reducing carpenter work by ordering lumber to length and width from plans has already been mentioned. It is possible often to go a step further by having certain standard panels, boxes, etc., made in regular shops. Piece work is often possible and will frequently reduce framing costs. In designing for economy in taking down, carrying and re-erecting forms a cardinal point should be that the work be such that it can be executed by common laborers. This result can be very nearly approached by careful design, even for form work that is quite complex, if a special gang is devoted to the work and trained a little in the various operations. Design the forms so that they come apart in units by simply removing bolts, clamps and wedges. They can then be taken down, carried and erected by common laborers with a skilled man in charge to meet emergencies and to true and line up the work.

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