1 | Concrete Beam Competition

shootperchUrban and Civil

Nov 26, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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Florida A&M University – Florida State University College of Engineering
1 | C o n c r e t e B e a m C o mp e t i t i o n

C O N C R E T E B E A M C O M P E T I T I O N


1. Overview

This competition involves designing, casting, and testing of a concrete beam to achieve low
weight and high strength by optimizing concrete material and section designs. The
challenge is to maximize the team’s overall score in categories of weight, strength, and
strength prediction. ASTM C 78-02, Standard Test Method for Flexural Strength of
Concrete, will be used to test the beams in third-point bending.

2. Objective

The objective of this competition is to design and cast a concrete beam that will have low
weight and high strength, and also to accurately predict the beam’s strength under third-
point bending.

3. Eligibility

There is no limit on the number of ASCE student chapter members allowed to help create
the concrete beam.

4. Materials and Limitations

Each team shall submit one (1) beam for testing.

The mix design used for the beam shall be submitted. A form for reporting this mix design
will be provided several weeks in advance of the conference. Completion of the form will
require faculty or practitioner advisor’s signature, verifying that each entry conforms to the
competition rules. Failure to provide the form will result in disqualification from the
competition.

The following guidelines shall be followed for the design and construction of the beam:

 The length of the beam shall be a minimum of 20 in. The Span Length, L, between
support centers will be 18 in.

 The team must design the cross section of the beam, but the cross section must be a
maximum of 6 in. x 6 in.

 The team’s school name must be clearly written in approximately 1-inch tall letters
with permanent marker on both sides of all beams submitted.

 The team’s predicted total load that the beam will carry shall be clearly written in
approximately 1-inch tall numbers with permanent marker on both sides of all
beams submitted. The load shall be expressed in pounds.


2 | C o n c r e t e B e a m C o mp e t i t i o n

 Reinforcement bars of any material are not allowed. Chopped fibers are allowed.

 Type I Portland cement as specified in ASTM C 150 is allowed.

 Fly ash as specified in ASTM C 618 is allowed.

 Slag cement as specified in ASTM C 989 is allowed.

 Chemical admixtures as specified in ASTM C 494 and/or ASTM C 260 are allowed.

 Coarse aggregate that meets the No. 67 or 57 gradation requirement of ASTM C 33 is
allowed.

 The concrete beam shall contain a minimum of 30 percent coarse aggregate by
volume of concrete.

 Fine aggregate as specified in ASTM C 33 is allowed.

5. Competition

Beams and mix designs shall be submitted the morning of the day of testing, at a time
and location given at registration on Thursday night.

At minimum, the team captain must be present during testing of their beam.

Each team’s beam will be tested using the third-point flexural test. The teams will be
judged in three categories: weight, strength and strength prediction.

The testing order will be provided prior to the competition.

6. Beam Weight

Teams will be given points based on the weight of their beam. The team with the lowest
weight will be awarded 30 points. All other points will be linearly determined in a
descending order. Points will be in increments of one (1).

7. Beam Strength

Teams will be given points based on the overall strength of their beam. The team with the
highest strength will be awarded 30 points. All other points will be linearly determined in a
descending order. Points will be in increments of one (1).

The load that causes flexural failure of the beam shall be determined in accordance with
ASTM C 78. Load shall be applied perpendicular to the long (20-in.) dimension of the beam
and parallel to the short (6-in.) dimensions. Loads will be recorded to the nearest 0.1
pounds.

3 | C o n c r e t e B e a m C o mp e t i t i o n


All beams will be loaded until failure occurs. The maximum load held by the beams will be
taken as the strength.

The team captain will be responsible for orienting the beam for loading. The team captain
must be present at the time of loading. If the representative is not present when it is their
team’s turn to load, that team will be moved to the end of the testing order. Beams that still
do not have a team captain present at the end will be awarded zero (0) points for beam
strength.

8. Beam Strength Prediction

For this category of the competition, the team must predict the load at which their beam
will fail. Teams will be given points based on this beam strength prediction. The team with
the closest prediction will be awarded 30 points. All other points will be linearly
determined in a descending order. Points will be in increments of one (1).

9. Scoring

The team’s score will be determined by adding the points from the three categories:

Total Score = Beam Weight Pts. + Beam Strength Pts. + Beam Strength Prediction Pts.

The team with the most total points will place first in the competition. All teams will be
ranked in descending order of total points obtained.

Judges may retain any or all of the submitted beams to verify the validity of the submitted
raw materials and mixture proportions.

In the event of a tie, the beam with the highest strength-to-weight ratio will win the tie.