A publication that the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association is releasing this month discusses concrete quality measurement, along with tangible and intangible benefits attributable to improved product quality. Co-published with CRC Press, Improving Concrete Quality shows ready mixed company executives and managers how to boost operational performance; reduce labor and material costs; and, lower the environmental footprint of concrete while raising the overall quality of concrete construction.
Based on quality surveys and award submissions, it has been observed that the industry does not commonly track quantifiable quality indicators and, as a result, the return on quality investments is not well understood. The book suggests steps to measure and reduce variability due to concrete ingredient materials, production and testing. Improving Concrete Quality also delves into basic statistics and how to use test data. Doing a test and collecting data by itself is of little value unless data analysis and necessary corrective action are taken, contends author, NRMCA Vice President, Technical Services Karthik Obla, Ph.D., P.E. Other key topics he explores include how to a) identify non-standard testing and initial curing, plus abnormal material variation; b) control mixing water variation and improve batching accuracy; c) ensure ingredient material quality and elements of a quality management system; d) perform a quality audit; and, e) select appropriate tests.
Readers will be afforded readily implementable steps to reduce variability and attain a more consistent product, thereby seeing performance benefits and cost savings. Suggestions are provided on how architects and engineers can ensure good quality concrete through their specifications. Improving Concrete Quality will also help testing labs measure and improve service and assist cementitious material and admixture suppliers to better understand how their product variability affects concrete performance.
In contrast to the industry’s deep library of concrete technology titles, Improving Quality Concrete addresses the management and financial rationale of strong quality control/quality assurance measures in ready mixed production. The book can be ordered at an introductory price ($60) through the NRMCA bookstore, www.nrmca.org/store, or by contacting NRMCA Manager, Customer Service Jacques Jenkins, 240/485-1165; firstname.lastname@example.org.