Thursday, 27 October 2016

‘Unbelievable Speed’: Fabricator slashes time with Autodesk Advance Steel detailing software


Autodesk Advance Steel detailing software model of solar canopy


Parsons Steel Builders, a small steel fabrication and erection firm based in Tucson, Arizona, has been in business for nearly 45 years, working on projects ranging from skyscrapers to parking garages. “We’re kind of a jack-of-all-trades,” says Alex Davidson, head of detailing for the company. “We’ll take the complicated stuff that nobody else wants to take the time to do.”

Recently, though, the firm found itself in danger of falling behind some of its peers. Managers noticed that many of the engineering firms that the company works with were already using 3D modeling programs for all of their designs, while Parsons was still doing all of its steel detailing work in two dimensions with Autodesk AutoCAD software. “We wanted to step up to the new generation of technology,” says Davidson. “We didn’t want to get left behind.”

Parsons turned to Autodesk Advance Steel detailing software, a 3D detailing software built on the AutoCAD platform. “I’m already very familiar with Autodesk products, and switching platforms wasn’t an ideal situation,” says Davidson. “We wanted something we could use for detailing and modeling, but also use for presentation purposes with clients, and this just seemed like a really good fit.”


Davidson knew that Advance Steel had the potential to make the detailing process more efficient, but he wasn’t sure what sort of learning curve to expect. If the software turned out to be difficult to learn, it could have temporarily slowed down his work, rather than speeding it up. As it turned out, though, Davidson was off and running after a three-day training session and some one-on-one guidance from his software reseller.

“It was very easy to pick up,” Davidson says. “Basically all of the same AutoCAD commands work, so I was able to utilize my knowledge of AutoCAD and implement it into Advance Steel.”

At first, Davidson says, he was skeptical that the program was really as easy-to-use as it appeared, because his training session featured pre-made drawings. But when it came time to create his own drawings, that process was quick and simple, too. “It went together faster than I ever could have imagined,” he says. “You just have to create a connection the first time, and then you can use automatic tools to copy it at any other location.”

Autodesk Advance Steel detailing software model of solar canopy


Davidson put Advance Steel into action in the spring of 2016, using the software to complete the detailing work on a parking lot canopy that would provide shade and be outfitted with solar panels. The project had a footprint of 420 feet by 162 feet, and Parsons estimated in its bid that the detailing would take 100 hours. Since the firm was working from a physical copy of the project drawings, everything had to be re-created from scratch, and this process would have previously required Davidson to spend weeks painstakingly drawing connection after connection in two dimensions. “I would have had to have drawn every plate and every hole, over and over again, for each piece,” he says.

Autodesk Advance Steel detailing software model of solar canopyWith Advance Steel, Davidson says, much of this process became automated. “I didn’t have to go and detail every single piece individually, or figure out which ones were duplicates of other ones,” he says. “The program was able to process everything in seconds, as opposed to me going through and figuring out which ones go where. It was unbelievable how quick it was and how much time it helped save.”

Davidson found himself getting excited as he realized how efficiently he could work with the new tool. “I didn’t believe that it was happening that quickly, versus the time that we had budgeted for it,” he says. “I was in disbelief, and actually I’m still a little in shock about how easy it was. I don’t want to say, ‘Oh, you just click one button and bam!’ But it was kind of like that.”

Instead of taking 100 hours, Davidson was able to complete the initial detailing work in 16 to 18 hours, he says. After some cosmetic “clean-up” work to resize some images and move overlapping symbols out of each other’s way, the whole project took a fourth of the time originally estimated.


In addition to the firm’s familiarity with AutoCAD, Davidson says, Parsons selected Advance Steel in part because of the tool’s affordability. The lower cost of the program, coupled with the productivity gains the firm achieved with support from the software, led to a fast return-on-investment. “Even if the solar canopy job was the only job that I used Advance Steel with,” he says, “we’ve already made our money back on the program, because of the time savings on that one project.”

In addition to helping the company save time, Advance Steel helped Davidson catch design problems during the detailing phase. For example, one connection looked like it would work at first glance, but the bolts on one of the cap plates turned out to be inaccessible. That’s the sort of glitch that can cause delays – and, ultimately, financial losses—if it’s not caught before the steel erection process begins.

“I probably still would have caught the problem in a 2D detailing program, but Advance Steel made it apparent that there was a problem there,” Davidson says. “It was nice to be able to more effectively see the problems in the initial design, to see them in 3D space, and bring my boss in and say, ‘We have a problem here. We need to fix this.’”

Autodesk Advance Steel detailing software model of solar canopy


While Davidson worked from physical drawings on this first project using Advance Steel, Parsons also runs Autodesk Revit BIM software in-house, and Davidson says that working from 3D Revit models in the future could help the firm to reduce its detailing time even more drastically. He also anticipates that Advance Steel can help shave time from the fabrication process, since the program allows the company to automatically generate materials lists.

“The process of getting out to the shop seems like it’s going to be a lot quicker,” Davidson says. “I’ll just be able to give our purchasing agent a cut list sheet of what he needs to order, and he’ll be able to order it. He won’t have to go through each drawing and look at the bill of materials.”

For now, Davidson says, he is “super excited” about how much more efficiently he’s able to work with support from Advance Steel. “Cutting the detailing time fractionally—that was just amazing,” he says. “The program greatly exceeded my expectations.”

The post ‘Unbelievable Speed’: Fabricator slashes time with Autodesk Advance Steel detailing software appeared first on BIM and Beam.

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Monday, 24 October 2016

5 ways the Autodesk Knowledge Network will change your life

Autodesk Knowledge Network

Whether you’re learning a new software program, looking for tips to improve your efficiency, or a power user that wants to share your knowledge with others, the Autodesk Knowledge Network is a valuable resource that can connect you to the information you need, when you need it. With more than a million contributions from Autodesk users, educators, resellers, partners, and employees, the Autodesk Knowledge Network is full of tutorials, documentation, downloads, and troubleshooting advice that can help you improve the way you work.

Here are five of the best things about this resource that we think just might change your life—really!

1. Troubleshooting just got a whole lot easier

Are you using Advance Steel but the numbering process isn’t merging the identical parts? There’s an answer for that. Did you install Revit and now your templates and families are missing? Try this fix. Joists not importing or updating from Robot Structural Analysis to Revit? Yep, there’s an article for that too. There are literally thousands of troubleshooting articles that you can access to find answers to your software questions.

2. So. Many. Tutorials.

Did you install the Autodesk Steel Connections for Revit add-in? Great! The Autodesk Knowledge Network has you covered. You can learn how to install/uninstall the add-on, place a structural connection, learn about the available structural connection parameters, how to load and use connection types in your Revit model, how the background process works when calculating geometry and fabrication shapes for created connections … do we need to keep going? Experts across the world contribute new tutorials to the Autodesk Knowledge Network every day. It is truly your best resource for learning and mastering Autodesk software tools.

3. A one stop shop for customer service

This is where you go to get help with your accounts, installation, configuring a deployment, and more. But in addition to getting up and running with your own software, this is also where you can find information for planning and creating a network environment to help your firm distribute Autodesk software licenses.  You’ll find tips on managing network licenses and network deployment, server selection and system requirements, how to maximize available licenses, and how to deploy software installation files and updates to users in a network environment.

4. The Autodesk community

The Autodesk community is made up of customers and experts that take the time to share their knowledge of Autodesk software. Here you can read and post information on the forums, view interactive video tutorials, share and shape product ideas, or read blogs by Autodesk insiders. The community is incredibly active with hundreds of new posts every week.

In addition, the Autodesk community takes the time to review and approve the content posted to it. The community-approved answers to common issues help you sort through the articles and forums available to you.

5. A place for you to share your expertise

Don’t just take advantage of the Autodesk Knowledge Network—participate! Write an article, answer a question, create a screencast. Help software users around the world gain the skills they need to be the best they can be, and establish yourself as an expert.

The post 5 ways the Autodesk Knowledge Network will change your life appeared first on BIM and Beam.

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Friday, 21 October 2016


Requirements of Good Stairs A good stair should provide an easy, quick and safe mode of communication between the various floors of the building. General requirements of good stairs are as mentioned below. 1. Location It should preferably be located centrally, ensuring sufficient light and ventilation. 2. Width of Stair The width of stairs for […]

The post TOP 1O REQUIREMENTS OF STAIRS FOR BUILDING appeared first on CivilBlog.Org.

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The Revit Roadmap is LIVE! See what’s in store for Structure


For the first time ever, Autodesk has made our roadmap for Revit public. This is our opportunity to share with our software users our plans to make sure Revit is working for you, and that our future goals align with how you’re using the software day-to-day.

What’s in store for the structural features in Revit?

Our roadmap for the structural features in Revit is all about improving design to fabrication workflows and supporting the key construction methods for steel, reinforced concrete, and precast concrete. Last week we blogged about our BIM strategy for reinforced concrete, and you’ll see in the roadmap that we are heavily investing in the modeling and documentation features of Revit to help move the industry from traditional 2D CAD documentation to BIM-based modeling and documentation tools. Our goal is to make modeling easy for designers and engineers.

Read what’s new in Revit 2017.1 for structural engineers here.

Revit is also being optimized for BIM-centric structural analysis and code checks, as well as structural contribution to the generative design and parameter-driven optimization of forms and model configurations. A key component of this will be automating features for steel connections and rebar reinforcement in future software releases.

One of the most important aspects of our roadmap for Revit centers around project-centric collaboration for structural stakeholders. Model fidelity and approval processes are a vital piece of this. Our goal is to improve structural workflows across products and consolidate functionality around key platforms to provide a higher level of automation. With these steps we are working to streamline the overall process and support collaboration.

Steel connections for Revit and the Advance Steel 2017 Extension for Revit are important steps in this direction. You can read more about these features for users here.

Ultimately, we want to support the full project lifecycle from shop to field for the modern, automated future. This includes support for paperless design to construction processes for fabrication and installation.

Read our vision for the future of making structural things here.

Read the roadmap and contribute

You can review the full roadmap for Revit and it’s features for each discipline here, and we hope you’ll contribute to making the software better for your structures at Revit Ideas.

The post The Revit Roadmap is LIVE! See what’s in store for Structure appeared first on BIM and Beam.

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Monday, 17 October 2016

Download the new Dynamo Extension for Advance Steel

Autodesk recently released the Dynamo Extension for Advance Steel 2017, which helps structural engineers drive the geometry and behavior of Advance Steel elements from Dynamo. We will show you how to download this extension using the Autodesk Desktop App.

Step 1: Open Autodesk Desktop App

You can do this by searching Autodesk Desktop in the Start Menu. It should be one of the first results you see. Click and open your Autodesk Desktop App.

Dynamo extension for Advance Steel

Step 2: Sign-in to your Autodesk Desktop App

Once the Desktop App window is open, sign-in using your Autodesk account login info.

Dynamo extension for Advance Steel

Step 3: Select the program you want to update

Once signed in, you will want to select the program to update. In this case, you will want to select Dynamo Extension for Autodesk Advance Steel 2017 from the list of updates.

Dynamo extension for Advance Steel

Step 4: Click Update to begin the Download

Select the Update option to the right to begin the download.

Step 5: Complete the Download and Installation of the Dynamo Extension for Advance Steel

After you have clicked Update, the Autodesk Desktop App will begin downloading and installing the new extension. Grab a cup of coffee and wait for it to finish!

Dynamo extension for Advance Steel

Step 6: You’re done!

Once the download & installation are finished, you are all set.

Dynamo extension for Advance Steel

The only thing left for you to do is jump into Advance Steel 2017 or Advance Steel 2017.1 and experience the Dynamo Extension for Advance Steel by yourself!

 Dynamo extension for Advance Steel

Here is a VIDEO showing an example.

Note: The Dynamo Extension for Advance Steel works with Advance Steel 2017 & 2017.1 and it is currently compliant with Dynamo 1.1. It is recommended not to install a newer version of Dynamo (e.g. Dynamo 1.2) to avoid any possible conflicts of non-compliance.


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Thursday, 13 October 2016

BIM for reinforced concrete – it’s in the details

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a critical part of how structural building and infrastructure systems are designed and built today, but the reinforced concrete industry has been lagging behind structural steel when it comes to its adoption of BIM. This is due to the highly fragmented nature of its supply chain which requires a number of different designers and suppliers to collaborate and simultaneously deliver the final product.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in our conversations with Autodesk users. In fact, when we ask our users what they want to see in a BIM-centric solution for concrete, we often hear a variety of answers that differ drastically depending on someone’s role on a project.

  • Engineers & Designers: Gain more engineering insight while creating the design-intent of structures and seamlessly coordinate with assistance of analysis and local building code requirements.
  • Fabricators: Maximize production and delivery efficiency while minimizing time spent on detailing and coordination with the field.
  • Contractors: Optimize planning and estimation tasks by getting access to accurate quantities in the early stages of a project, thereby optimizing the installation process to avoid rebar clashes on site and coordination with other trades.

Despite the difference in opinion on the BIM solutions needed for reinforced concrete, it’s clear that the industry is ripe for radical disruption. Over the last several years at Autodesk, we’ve made a commitment to invest in customer-centric solutions for the reinforced concrete industry that better connect concrete design and detailing to fabrication and address the opportunities that our users are asking for.

Revit for Reinforced Concrete

Our BIM strategy for reinforced concrete is centered around making steel reinforcement detailing very integrated with both the structural design and detailing process. Not only does this approach result in creating relevant, more accurate and up to date documentation, it also drives the end-to-end workflows in a “connected,” fully paperless way. We have also been making Autodesk Revit a robust, customizable, model authoring platform that supports the BIM workflow for any discipline or trade, including those designing and detailing reinforced concrete.  Our investments in Revit have also focused on respecting the various Levels of Development (LOD) that must be supported in parallel throughout the project lifecycle.

For more on the capabilities of Revit for concrete, check out some of our past BIM and Beam blog posts:

Leveraging technology partners to create a collaborative BIM ecosystem

Another key part of our strategy for reinforced concrete has been to partner with technology partners who have a proven track record in delivering highly localized rebar design to detailing solutions to the concrete industry using traditional 2D CAD platforms. Autodesk is proud to be partnering with our industry partner SOFiSTiK and solution associate partners Graitec and aSa who bring Revit based tools that address local standard requirements, process automation, advanced productivity requirements, and make Revit the best suited BIM authoring solution for reinforced concrete rebar detailing. As the AEC industry adopts BIM, these partners are rebuilding on Revit so they can provide their customers and future reinforced concrete partners a more collaborative BIM environment.

Sofistik solutions for reinforced concrete

“Together with Autodesk we have developed and are still working on a Revit integrated workflow for designers. This workflow covers all design aspects such as formwork drafting, analysis and code checks of structural members plus reinforcement generation and detailing all in Revit. This rebar information can be exported to bending lists or directly transferred to bending machines for fabrication purposes. By using Autodesk Revit and the SOFiSTiK BIM applications it is for the first time possible to provide a fully BIM integrated workflow for construction engineering.”

Frank Deinzer, Managing Director SOFiSTiK AG

Graitec's reinforced concrete solution

“It is no surprise that the concrete industry is decades behind its steel counterpart when it comes to BIM. Favouring 2D systems for documenting and detailing reinforced concrete has enabled the industry to overcome shortfalls in modelling software’s ability to meet varying country standards, complex rebar configurations and manage the sheer volume of steel in each project.

 But all of that is changing. Thanks to the global adoption of BIM, advances in software technology and countless lessons learnt, the concrete industry is benefitting from an acute focus by software vendors like Autodesk and GRAITEC that is rapidly decreasing the BIM gap. Concrete, it would seem, is poised even to overtake its steel rival.”

Carl Spalding, GRAITEC Product Strategy Director

The benefits of Revit for reinforced concrete

So you might be asking, what benefit does using this Revit-based strategy provide? What value does it provide our users?  We see BIM-centric concrete solutions helping our users in four main ways:

  1. Combines the versatility of 2D documentation with the higher level of fidelity and accuracy of 3D modeling of steel reinforcement and concrete accessories, with minimal effort to produce both.
  2. Allows users to design and detail with clash prevention in mind to reduce clashes both in the preconstruction and site execution project phases.
  3. Enables the transition from design to detailed models while respecting both perspectives, following local code requirements, and automating the process of making changes so they are less disruptive to the design process.
  4. Increases transparency and quality of the model information being used from bidding to procurement by not only providing quantifiable information, but also enabling access to it in collaboration friendly environments.

These benefits are also all supported by Revit’s flexible work sharing and cloud collaboration solutions that allow more project stakeholders to connect to the BIM process.

What’s next?

So this all sounds compelling but if you have an engineer or detailer mindset like me, you want to see real world examples and proof.  Who is really using Revit to create 3D rebar models that generate the required rebar shop deliverables on real projects?

We will share a few customer examples in the next post on this topic in the coming weeks. Until then, you can also get a sneak peak of who is using Revit by checking out our technology partner pages, viewing our line up at Autodesk University this year, or reading this use case by VK Engineers.

Stay tuned for more on this topic and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Learn what’s new in Revit 2017.1 for Structural Engineers

In Revit 2017.1 the Split Element tool for columns & framing elements has been improved.

Now the Split Element tool respects joins, justifications, and the location of hosted objects. Openings, details, attached elements, and joins maintain their geometry and locations as expected.

This new feature provides greater model accuracy, precise design intent definition, and better supports design-to-detail modeling for steel connections.

Autodesk® Steel Connections for Revit® provides access to a variety of parametric steel connections in Revit® software, enabling connections to be modeled with a higher level of detail. The application also includes a built-in steel connection design engine based on US and European codes.

To ensure that structural connections from this application adhere to the latest standards, the code check for AISC design was updated from the 13th to the 14th edition and each calculation includes code references.

The code check reports include references to highlight the chapters to which the verification belongs, according to AISC standards. Now it is easier for engineers to understand all the calculations and results in the documentation.

Thanks to this feature you can create better code-based designs and documentation that extends to fabrication.

To increase the Chinese and Japanese support of Autodesk solutions for structural steel detailing and fabrication the 2017.1 version delivers sections according to the latest Chinese and Japanese standards like I-shapes, angles, pipes and channels..

New sections contains a complete set of information to support analysis and detailing workflows.

The post Learn what’s new in Revit 2017.1 for Structural Engineers appeared first on BIM and Beam.

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Monday, 10 October 2016

6 things to expect at this year’s Fabricators Forum

Autodesk Fabrication Forum Banner 1200x628 v2

Are you a contractor, designer, engineer, detailer, estimator, or fabricator? Then the MEP and Structural Fabricators Forum is a do-not-miss event, specifically tailored to your professional and educational interests.

In one day you’ll learn the ins and outs of BIM, network with your industry peers, and gain expert insight from leaders in the field. We’re constantly expanding and enhancing the Fab Forum to reach and engage new audiences and have built a full program this year.

So, what can you expect with your pass to the Fab Forum?

  1. Network with 500 of your industry peers in one place at one time.
  2. Learn the latest trends in BIM workflows. Check out these classes from last year’s Forum.
  3. Plan your day to fit your interests. Choose from MEP Fabrication or Structural Fabrication tracks with business industry talks or technical instructional demos.
  4. Take hands-on labs to increase your skillset in Autodesk Revit, Advance Steel, CAMduct, CADmep, and ESTmep.
  5. Get an exclusive look into what Autodesk has planned for the future of our fabrication solutions to help you detail better, fabricate better, and build better.
  6. Drink, eat, and network with our growing list of sponsors to include CINX, DeWalt, Graitec, Graybar, GTP, PTAC, and TSI.

Join us on Monday, November 14th for the day, or add the Forum to your registration to Autodesk University to ensure that you’re getting the most value out of your trip to Vegas. And if you need more reasons to attend this year’s forum, here’s five of them.

We’ll see you in Vegas!

Register Now

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Saturday, 8 October 2016


Shrinkage Of Concrete When concrete structures are not permanently water-saturated, it starts to lose moisture and starts to shrink from the time when the process of curing ceases. The 7 primary structural effects of shrinkage are as follow. 1. Joints Shrinkage of concrete between movement joints causes joints to open or makes it wider. Therefore […]

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Friday, 7 October 2016


FLEXURAL STRENGTH TEST OF CONCRETE Objective To determine the Flexural Strength of Concrete, which comes into play when a road slab with inadequate sub-grade support is subjected to wheel loads and / or there are volume changes due to temperature / shrinking. Reference Standards IS: 516-1959 – Methods of tests for strength of concrete Equipment & […]

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DEFECTS IN BRICKWORK EFFECTS OF WORKMANSHIP ON MASONRY STRENGTH Masonry has a very long tradition of building by craftsmen, without engineering supervision of the kind applied to reinforced concrete construction. Consequently, it is frequently regarded with some suspicion as a structural material and carries very much higher safety factors than concrete. There is, of course, […]

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Thursday, 6 October 2016

Advance Steel 2017.1 release enhances steel detailing software user experience

We’re excited to announce the midyear release of Autodesk’s structural steel detailing software, Advance Steel 2017.1. Building on our 2017 release theme to help our customers move quickly from steel design to steel detailing to steel fabrication, the midyear release is aimed at creating a better user experience, and streamlining tasks so that users can work more quickly and efficiently.

So what’s new for Advance Steel 2017.1?

The Advance Steel 2017.1 release improves interoperability with enhanced IFC 2×3 export capabilities, and makes drawings easier to read with background mask capability behind dimension and label texts. We’re also excited to announce the Dynamo Extension for Advance Steel which will allow structural engineers to connect their complex parametric steel designs with the detail model in Advance Steel.

Connect Dynamo to Advance Steel for steel detailing

Figure 1: Create parametric complex structures with the power of Dynamo

A list of the new features and their benefits is below:

  • Simplified way to create drawings so users can create drawings more quickly and in less clicks (VIDEO)
  • Get a background mask for objects behind dimension and label texts to make drawings easier to read by masking objects behind texts (VIDEO)
  • Connection libraries with DASt values to insert steel connections more easily and quickly with the available libraries
  • Check steel connection design with latest AISC codes (14th addition) helps validate steel connections against the latest standards (VIDEO)
  • Dynamo for Advance Steel allows structural engineers to create parametric complex structures with the power of Dynamo (VIDEO)
  • Model information exported to FabTrol systems lets users export accurate data from Advance Steelto FabTrol Pro in a single click
  • IFC 2×3 import/export enhancements enables project team members to work together more efficiently
Background masks for objects make steel detailing easier

Figure 2: Get a background mask for objects behind dimension and label texts to make drawings easier to read

Steel detailing software made better—by you

This midyear release features a number of updates requested by our customers. Thanks to your feedback, Advance Steel detailing software now includes:

  • Special parts containing AutoCAD objects defined by surfaces now displayed on drawings
  • Edit XRef and Block in-place feature available for referenced Advance Steel DWG files
  • Improved polygonal beam behavior for cuts
  • Assembly weight now includes bolt weights within a BOM
  • WISCON NC-file export enhanced with a higher precision for angle values

If you want to learn more about the new features in the midyear release, check out our on-demand webinar with the Advance Steel product managers and developers: What’s New in Advance Steel 2017.1.

Advance Steel learning resources

If you’re an Advance Steel customer, we have a number of resources that you can access to make the most of your steel detailing software. Take a moment and check out these great tools:


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Monday, 3 October 2016


Quality Control in Concrete Construction Quality of concrete construction on site can be accomplished in three distinct stages as follow Quality control before concreting Quality control during concreting Quality control after construction Stage-1 (Quality Control Before Concreting) This stage of quality control consists of two steps. Checking of specification requirements regarding excavation, forms, reinforcement and […]


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Saturday, 1 October 2016


Engineering Properties of Aggregates Aggregates are used in concrete to provide economy in the cost of concrete. Aggregates act as filler only. These do not react with cement and water. But there are properties or characteristics of aggregate which influence the properties of resulting concrete mix. These are as follow. Composition Size & Shape Surface […]


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