10 Mar, 2024
Simtec Materials Testing Laboratory

Concrete is one of the most widely used building materials in the world. When it comes to structural developments such as foundations, beams, and floors - it must be able to withstand the loads that are applied to it.

The concrete cube test is one of the main ways of verifying that concrete is fit for its purpose. By measuring the compressive strength of the mix, this test will determine if the mix is suitable for the demands of the project. If it isn’t, the prospective structure will be at significant risk of cracking, sinking, or collapsing entirely.

Read on to learn the importance of concrete cube testing for your next infrastructure project.

Understanding Concrete Cube Testing

The purpose of concrete cube testing is to ensure that a concrete mix will meet its expected compressive strength. This test involves extracting a sample of fresh concrete and allowing it to cure before applying an increasing load until it breaks. The results can then be compared with the intended design strength of the material.

At Simtec, our specialist team will arrive on-site to take a sample of the concrete in accordance with BS EN 12350-1. Typically, a minimum of 3 cubes will be taken from each sample by pouring the mix into 100mm or 150mm cube moulds, these being compacted in equal layers dependent of cube size and material specification.

These samples are then sent to our laboratory for analysis to test the strength of the hardened concrete. After curing the samples in a water bath at 20°C for the required time this generally being 7, 14 and or 28 days, they are tested in a compression machine to identify the compressive strength of the mix.

Why Use Concrete Cube Testing for Infrastructure Projects?

Concrete cube testing is integral to infrastructure projects. It ensures manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors understand the reliability and strength of a concrete mix and reduce project risk in terms of time and cost.

Implement a Standardised Procedure

Methods for concrete cube testing are strictly dictated by British Standards. This includes guidelines for:

  • Specifying, producing, and using concrete under various conditions
  • The required tolerances, shapes, and dimensions of concrete samples
  • The making and curing of concrete cube samples from fresh concrete

As a standardised testing method, concrete cube testing helps manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors improve efficiency, reduce errors, increase accountability, and comply with regulations to improve quality and safety.

Ensure Structural Integrity & Mitigate Risks

Concrete cube testing is crucial for avoiding structural failure in construction projects. If a concrete mix is not up to your project requirements, the concrete is more likely to crack, crumble, or collapse under heavy loads in as little as a few months.

Results from a concrete cube test will show you if your mix is strong and safe to use. By ensuring that your chosen materials are high quality, durable, and suitable for their intended application, you can ensure structural integrity and mitigate the risk of harm to the public and surrounding environment.

Compliance with Regulations

There are many industry standards surrounding the testing and use of concrete. For instance, our sampling of fresh concrete is conducted to BS EN 12350-1, whilst our making and curing of test specimens and subsequent compressive strength testing methods are carried out in accordance with BS EN 12390-1, BS EN 12390-2, and BS EN 12390-3.

Compliance with industry regulations means that you can ensure your construction projects meet the necessary quality and safety requirements, as well as any legal requirements so that your project can proceed without issue. This is especially important for building relationships with others within your industry, who will recognise your work as high-quality, trustworthy, and reliable.

Enhance Project Success

Professional quality control for concrete will greatly enhance the success of your project. While there will be initial costs for ensuring the use of strong and safe materials, durable and correctly applied concrete will require less maintenance over time and will save you on costly repairs.

Alongside savings in costs, concrete cube testing saves you time by ensuring compliance with British Standards for concrete. This means that your projects can proceed without disruptions from potential issues with planning permission or health and safety, so they can reach completion on time.

Concrete Cube Tests by Simtec

Simtec Materials Testing has successfully delivered concrete cube testing services to the construction and civil engineering industry since 2007. Our professional testing capabilities will offer you peace of mind and assurance for progressing your project and adhering to the necessary British Standards.

For more information on our concrete cube testing methods and how we can help you, go to our Concrete Cube Testing page and fill in the form. Alternatively, please call us on 0116 319 6100 or email info@simtec-mt.co.uk to speak to one of our team.