Flash Back: Pioneer in Concrete, Duff Abrams 1880 – 1965

Duff A. Abrams (1880, Illinois, – 1965, New York) was an American researcher in the field of composition and properties of concrete. He developed the basic methods for testing concrete characteristics still in use today. A professor with the Lewis Institute, he studied the component materials of concrete in the early 20th century.

D. A. Abrams was researcher, professor, and director of the research laboratory of the Portland Cement Association in Chicago. He investigated the influence of the composition of concrete mixes on the strength of the end product.

Some of the results of his research was:
  • The definition of the concept of fineness modulus
  • The definition of the water-cement ratio
  • A test method for the workability of a concrete mix by using what is called Abrams cone, know now as concrete slump test.

In a comprehensive research program, Abrams established the relationship between the water-cement ratio and the compressive strength of concrete. The results were first published in 1918 in D. A. Abrams, Design of Concrete Mixtures, Bulletin 1, Structural Materials Research Laboratory, Lewis Institute, Chicago, 1918.

He was also president of the American Concrete Association (ACI) from 1930 until 1931.
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