U-Box Test

The U-box test (Kuriowa 1993; EFNARC 2002; Bartos, Sonebi, and Tamimi 2002) measures filling ability and is similar to the L-box test. The U-box test was developed in Japan and is sometimes referred to as the box-shaped test. Like other workability tests for self-compacting concrete, the U-box test is also applicable to highly flowable concretes and underwater concretes.

The apparatus consists of a U-shaped box, as shown in Figure 27. Concrete is placed in the left side of the box. An alternative version of the apparatus features a flat bottom instead of a curved bottom. Ideally, the box should be made of clear plastic to permit the observation of the concrete in the box. To start the test, the door dividing the two halves of the box is opened and concrete is allowed to flow from the left half of the box into the right half. Reinforcing bars are placed at the location of the door. Although the spacing of the bars is adjustable, the most common arrangement is 13 mm diameter bars with a clear spacing of 35 mm. The time from the opening of the door until the concrete ceases to flow is recorded. The height of the concrete in each side of the box is measured. A truly self-leveling fluid will rise to the same height on each side of the box. Concrete with good filling ability should reach a height of at least 30 cm on the right side of the box. In some versions of the test, a surcharge load is applied to the concrete on the left side of the box. This surcharge load is unnecessary for self-compacting concrete and is generally not used.

With both the L-box and U-box tests, it is unknown what significance the effect of friction between the concrete and the walls has on the test results.

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