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Mortar Master


Concrete is a widely used material in the field of civil engineering – both, at the construction sites and for research purposes. As we all know, a slight variation in the concrete mix can produce a significant change in the strength, setting period and other properties of concrete. This unique property of concrete is exploited to give rise to the event, Mortar Master in Pragyan 2018.

The objective of the event is to design and produce concrete blocks of the least strength and best appearance following the constraints that will be mentioned in the problem statement. Quite simple isn’t it? But, as an engineer, one has to be versatile. So, the teams have to prepare a proper design mix report, cast cubes of impeccable finish and present a briefing of their work to the judges.

(P.S.: Don’t ask us why it isn’t Concrete Master; we just wanted our event name to sound less ‘coarse’!!!)

The deadline for the online abstract submission has been extended to 13th February 2018.

The prepared concrete mix should be set for a minimum of 14 days. Additionally, the resources for accelerated curing have been uploaded in the website, which can be used by the participants for reference. Shortlisted candidates will be informed via e-mail by 16th February 2018, which should provide them with sufficient time to create the mix and set it for a minimum of 14 days.

Prizes worth INR 25000

Date: 2nd March 2018

Time: 9AM to 4PM

Venue: Civil Seminar Hall + SOM Lab



The event can be divided into two stages (note: it isn’t two rounds). The first stage will include activities that you will be carrying out at your respective colleges and the second stage will be conducted at NIT-Trichy.

Stage 1:

●        Registration for the event

●        Release of the problem statement

●        Designing the mix and casting three concrete blocks within the specified restrictions.

●        Preparing a report of the design mix and its online submission to us before the specified deadline.

To submit your Design Report:
1. Click 'Upload Abstract' which will lead you to a new page.
2. Exercise the provision to upload files on the new page.
3. With that, your submission of abstract is complete.

Upload Abstract


Stage 2:

●        Bring the cast concrete blocks to our college during Pragyan.

●        Density, strength and appearance of the blocks will be tested.

●        The submitted design reports would be evaluated and the teams will be asked to give a brief oral presentation of their work upon which they will be questioned.

●       Points would be awarded across each category (See Judging Criteria) and the winners will be judged accordingly.


The following parameters will be considered in adjudicating the winners:

●        Design mix report (In the provided format) – 20% VIEW FORMAT

●        Average of the compressive strength of 3 concrete blocks (Low compressive strength more marks) – 12.5%

●        Density of the blocks (Less density more marks) – 12.5%

●        Finish of the blocks (Less Honeycombs more marks) – 25%

●        Brief oral presentation to the judge – 20%

*Weightage of each criteria has been mentioned in percentage.


Design three cement concrete cubes of 150mm size. The strength of the concrete should lie between 20 to 30 MPa. The lowest visible honeycomb and low density will be awarded. The minimum cement content should be 300 kg/m3, with maximum water cement ratio of 0.55, the aggregates to be used are 6mm, 10mm, 20mm. No chemical admixture is to be used. The design should be done using IS Code method, suitable penalty will be given for the teams who fail to follow the above constraints.





Ultra tech, cubes casting procedure and compressive strength test- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTsLuaXOJWY

Cube test -






IS 456: Plain and Reinforced Concrete - Code of Practice : Bureau of Indian Standards https://archive.org/details/gov.in.is.456.2000                



Q) What about 28 day comprehensive strength?
A) As 90% strength is achieved on 14 th day , it wouldn't give a drastic change.
Else curing techniques or higher grade design to be taken care of to suffice the above .

Q) Are participants from departments other than Civil Engineering allowed within the team?
A) Yes, as long as they have knowledge in designing and casting concrete blocks.

Q) Is it not difficult to carry three concrete blocks all the way from our college to NIT Trichy?
 Yes, we understand it is difficult. If you wish to send your blocks a couple of days before your arrival using some transport agencies, you are welcome. The conditions are: It must be brought to our notice and the blocks should arrive at our college prior to your arrival at Pragyan and we will not take any responsibility for damage of the blocks during transport.

Q) Can I participate without submitting the photos?
A) No, all participants registering online will have to submit the photos by the deadline mentioned.

Q) Can we register once the problem statement is released?
A) Yes, you can register. But the rules won’t change and the deadlines would remain the same.

Q) Are cross‐college teams allowed?
A)  Yes.

Q) Is it maximum of 3 people or strictly a team of 3?
A)  It is a maximum of 3.

Q) Are UG‐PG collaboration teams allowed?
A) No. Only UG students are allowed for the event.

Q) Is any registration fee required?

Q) Do we get any participation certificate?
A) No participation certificates will be given.

Q) Is it compulsory to start the casting of cubes 28 days prior to the event?
A) No, we are not looking for the 28-day strength. All that we need is that when the cubes are brought here for testing, the mentioned judging criteria is satisfied.

Q) Can we make our own design report including all the necessary details?
A) No, a standard format has been uploaded on the Pragyan site. You can download it, fill in the details, get it attested from your Head of Department and send it to us by the scheduled date.

Q) Is it compulsory to fill all the details in the given design report?
A) More the details you fill in, better the possibility of getting more points. If any detail is not filled, it will not lead to disqualification but only loss of points in that category (Refer Judging Criteria for the points allotted).


•       2 - 3 members per team.

•       The mix design should strictly adhere to the Indian Standards Code.

•       It is necessary to get the design report attested by the Head of the Department of your college.

•       Design mix report should be submitted to mortarmaster@pragyan.org on or before 10th Feb 2018.

•       Any violation or deviation from the criteria mentioned in the problem statement will result in the disqualification of the team.

•       Any violation from the rules mentioned will also lead to the disqualification of the team.

•       The judges’ word will remain final.


Girish - +919710585811

Shivam - +919445266101

Antriksh - +919790482901

A Priyanka - +918122431872

Anisha - +919445101587


E-mail id: mortarmaster@pragyan.org

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