This user's guide provides instructions for and examples of using the Concrete Optimization Software Tool (COST), a joint product of the Federal Highway Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. COST provides an internet-based system for optimizing concrete performance based on statistical experiment design and analysis methods. Working with local raw materials, COST designs an experimental program of concrete mixtures to be prepared and evaluated. In these mixtures, the user can vary the water-to-cement (w/c) ratio and other concrete mixture parameters such as the cement, mineral and chemical admixture, and aggregate contents. Once the measured responses (properties) for the prepared concretes are input into the COST system, it analyzes the results and determines the optimum mixture proportions based on user-supplied performance criteria. Results and analysis are provided in both graphical and numerical formats to aid in interpretation. Typical uses of COST might be to design a concrete that meets all specifications at minimum cost or to design a concrete that provides maximum durability within a specific cost range.
Federal Highway Administration
building technology, concrete, COST, experiment design, mixture proportioning, optimization, response surfaces