There are two main tests to be done on concrete:
The SLUMP test.

  • The SLUMP test shows the WORKABILITY of concrete.
  • Workability measures how easy the concrete is to place, handle and compactThe
    COMPRESSION test shows the best possible strength concrete can reach in perfect
    conditions. The compression test measures concrete strength in the hardened
    state. Testing should always be done carefully. Wrong test results can be

SAMPLING The first step is to take a test sample from the large batch of
concrete. This should be done as soon as discharge of the concrete commences.
The sample should be representative of the concrete supplied. The sample is
taken in one of two ways:

  • For purposes of accepting or rejecting the load: Sampling after 0.2 m3 of the
    load has been poured.
  • For routine quality checks: Sampling from three places in the load.

THE SLUMP TEST is done to make sure a concrete mix is workable. The measured
slump must be within a set range, or tolerance, from the target slump.


  • Standard slump cone (100 mm top diameter x 200 mm bottom diameter x 300 mm
  • Small scoop
  • Bullet-nosed rod (600 mm long x 16 mm diameter)
  • Rule
  • Slump plate (500 mm x 500 mm)


  1. Clean the cone. Dampen with water and place on the slump plate. The slump
    plate should be clean, firm, level and non-absorbent.
  2. Collect a sample.
  3. Stand firmly on the footpieces and fill 1/3 the volume of the cone with the
    sample. Compact the concrete by rodding 25 times. Rodding Rodding means to
    push a steel rod in and out of the concrete to compact it into the
    cylinder, or slump cone. Always rod in a definite pattern, working from
    outside into the middle.
  4. Now fill to 2/3 and again rod 25 times, just into the top of the first
  5. Fill to overflowing, rodding again this time just into the top of the
    second layer. Top up the cone till it overflows.
  6. Level off the surface with the steel rod using a rolling action. Clean any
    concrete from around the base and top of the cone, push down on the handles
    and step off the footpieces.
  7. Carefully lift the cone straight up making sure not to move the sample.
  8. Turn the cone upside down and place the rod across the up-turned cone.
  9. Take several measurements and report the average distance to the top of the
  10. If the sample fails by being outside the tolerance (ie the slump is too
    high or too low), another must be taken. If this also fails the remainder
    of the batch should be rejected.

THE COMPRESSION TEST shows the compressive strength of hardened concrete. The
testing is done in a laboratory off-site. The only work done on-site is to make
a concrete cylinder for the compression test.
The strength is measured in Megapascals (MPa) and is commonly specified as
a characteristic strength of concrete measured at 28 days after mixing. The
compressive strength is a measure of the concrete�s ability to resist loads
which tend to crush it.


  • Cylinders (100 mm diameter x 200 mm high or 150 mm diameter x 300 mm high)
  • (The small cylinders are normally used for most testing due to their lighter
  • Small scoop
  • Bullet-nosed rod (600 mm x 16 mm)
  • Steel float
  • Steel plate


  1. Clean the cylinder mould and coat the inside lightly with form oil, then
    place on a clean, level and firm surface, ie the steel plate.
  2. Collect a sample.
  3. Fill 1/2 the volume of the mould with concrete then compact by rodding 25
    times. Cylinders may also be compacted by vibrating using a vibrating table.
  4. Fill the cone to overflowing and rod 25 times into the top of the
    first layer, then top up the mould till overflowing.
  5. Level off the top with the steel float and clean any concrete from around
    the mould.
  6. Cap, clearly tag the cylinder and put it in a cool dry place to set for at
    least 24 hours.
  7. After the mould is removed the cylinder is sent to the laboratory where it
    is cured and crushed to test compressive strength.