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Flexural strength measurement of a concrete beam.

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Flexural strength test


It is to measure the flexural tensile strength of the concrete. It is a measure of unreinforced concrete beam or slab to resist failure or bending. Acquire an appreciation of the relation between flexural tensile strength and other strengths such as cube compression strength, splitting tensile strength and equivalent cube compressive strength.


  • Compressive testing machine( Fig. 1)
  • Flexural loading device( Fig. 1)
  • Caliper and
  • Straight edge


Fig.1 control panel of testing machine and flexural loading device


  1. The beam was brought up from the curing tank.
  2. The surface water and grit were wiped out with a damp cloth.
  3. The beam was visually inspected for faults and damages.
  4. Length and cross-sectional dimensions were measured accurately with a caliper.
  5.  Test device was wiped with a dry cloth.
...read more.


The load was applied without shock and continuously increased until the beam broke.The maximum applied force was recorded.


  • The rollers should be placed at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the specimens.
  • Vertical lines should be drawn on one of the side of the beam to ensure that the beam can be correctly centred in the machine with the trowelled surface vertical.
  • If the cracking position is outside the middle one-third distance between the supporting rollers, ASTM C 78-84 should be used instead of BS 1881: Part 118: 1983.

Data and results:


150.25mm X 149.98mm X 749mm


Dimensions of the concrete beam and setup for flexural strength test

The fracture occurred inside the middle one-third so the test was regarded as valid and can apply the formula suggested by BS 1881: Part 118: 1983.

...read more.


The beam are tested on their side In relation to the as-cast position at a rate of increase in stress in the bottom fibre of between 0.02 and 0.10 N/mm2, the lower rate being for low strength concrete and the higher rate for high strength concrete.


The purpose of flexural strength test is to determine the tensile strength of the tested concrete beam. The higher the value, the higher tensile force the beam can support. The value of the tensile strength of the tested beam is much lower to the compressive strength of the beam. It shows that the concrete beam is weak at tension compared to its relative ability to resist compression

...read more.

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