Tuesday, September 18  

1:00 p.m.– 5:00 p.m. 

Hilton Minneapolis / St. Paul Airport Mall of America, Bloomington, MN

Created by the PCI Quality Enhancement Committee for the express purpose of aiding in the training of a new generation of concrete mixture design experts who will be employed by PCI producer members.

Facilitated by: Paul Ramsburg, Sika Corporation

*This seminar is Included in The Tour registration fee. View Tour schedule HERE .  

Who Should Attend:

  • Precast concrete plant technical personnel/inspectors
  • Batch plant and quality control personnel who are being trained in concrete materials
  • Department of transportation materials technicians overseeing mixture proportions
  • Materials testing laboratory personnel


Good control of concrete mixture proportions is crucial to producing quality precast concrete structures. It is important that precast concrete industry professionals, production facility technical personnel, design consultants, and department of transportation materials departments have an understanding of concrete mixture proportioning. This course is intended to train someone with a basic understanding of concrete so that they can design a concrete mixture meeting their company’s needs, or to evaluate the suitability of a mixture for specific applications. This course is specific to needs of the precast/prestressed concrete industry.

In this seminar, we will explore the mathematics and chemistry behind creating an absolute volume mixture design, and how the proper raw materials, sequencing, and production processes can consistently yield high-quality concrete. Also, we will troubleshoot common mistakes in typical precast concrete mixtures and how to avoid them, as well as adjust concrete mixtures to compensate for negative external influences. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Select raw materials suitable for a specific application
  • Complete the mathematics to proportion a basic absolute volume mixture, as per ACI 211
  • Design both structural and architectural mixtures
  • Design and adjust self-consolidating concrete mixtures
  • Evaluate a mixture using statistical analysis
  • Troubleshoot plastic and hardened concrete issues


  • Materials – A discussion of various concrete constituent properties and how they affect the concrete’s performance, and suggestions for selecting materials for different applications.
  • Proportioning – A walk-through of the ACI 211 method of absolute volume mixture design, and a session of designing concrete, using a provided worksheet, from historical data. A mixture design Excel spreadsheet designed for this course will also be provided.
  • Durability/SCC – A discussion of materials and proportioning considerations for designing durable concrete. This session on self-consolidating concrete moves past the basics and gives practical suggestions on making consistent SCC.
  • Architectural/statistics – We revisit both materials and proportioning, but this time with a view to concrete aesthetics. Best practices are presented for proportioning the mixture and the sample approval process. Also, this session covers the basic statistical processes needed to evaluate the performance of concrete mixtures.
  • Troubleshooting – The concrete we design may exhibit performance issues at times. This session teaches how to identify the cause of several common problems, and what the solutions are.