Nigerian Journal of Technology

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Effect of Crude Oil Contamination on the Compressive Strength of Concrete

SO Osuji, E Nwankwo


This paper investigates the influence of crude oil contamination on the compressive strength of concrete. Concrete produced in regions where crude oil is exploited can have significant changes in its properties as a result of crude oil contamination of its constituents. Various cubes of concrete with varying degrees of crude oil contamination were processed in the laboratory to determine the effect of contamination on the mechanical properties of concrete. Contamination in concrete was achieved by adding crude oil to the aggregate constituent of the test concrete. It was observed that the presence of crude oil in concrete hinders the bond formation between constituent materials and brings about segregation. Consequently, the presence of crude oil in concrete resulted to variations in workability of the concrete-the higher the percentages of crude oil in the fine aggregate, the higher the workability. Also, lower compressive strengths were observed in contaminated concrete cubes when compared with the controlled cubes. This revealed clearly that crude oil is a compressive strength inhibitor in the production of concrete. The higher the percentages of crude oil in the fine aggregate, the lower the compressive strength obtained. It can be inferred that the optimum crude oil contamination for the achievement of normal compressive strength is as low as 0.3%.
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