The importance of concrete petrography and the new EVO HP15 capabilities
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Microanalysis Expands its Concrete Petrography

Concrete is the material of choice for innumerable bridges, roads and superstructures. Though it is incredibly versatile and deceivingly simple concrete is susceptible to deterioration and deformation if not designed, mixed, poured, cured, and reinforced properly. In concrete structures, both new and old, scaling, spalling, cracking, low strength, and delamination are just a few of the deterioration artefacts that give owners, project managers and contractors cause for concern.

Concrete petrography is utilized to understand what is occurring within the concrete to account for the type of deterioration observed.

What exactly can concrete petrography do? Petrographers evaluate concrete, in bulk and in thin-section, using reflected light, transmitted light microscopy and occasionally x-ray diffractometry and scanning electron microscopy to collect an incredibly large amount of data that includes the following:
  • classification of coarse and fine aggregate;
  • identification of portland cement and supplementary cementitious materials (including fly ash, slag, and silica fume);
  • mix design verification including estimates of the water-cement ratio;
  • evaluation of consolidation and mixing;
  • investigate for causes of low strength;
  • identify causes of surface scaling/spalling (including improper finishing);
  •  determine the depth of carbonation and depth of hydrophobic materials;
  •  classification of secondary deposits/mineralisations;
  • evaluate cracking and microcracking including thermal shrinkage cracking, early-age shrinkage cracking, and plastic shrinkage cracking;
  • evaluate concrete for thermal damage from a fire event; and
  • identification of durability mechanisms including alkali-silica reaction (ASR), delayed ettringite formation (DEF), chemical attack, rebar corrosion, freeze-thaw damage, and more.
Microanalysis Australia offers a range of petrographic services that can be utilized on concrete (cores or fragments) of any age and is not specific to either new or old construction. They are also available for the evaluation other building materials such as mortar/render, stucco, aggregate, flooring, and riprap.

For more information on how we can assist you with your concrete petrography please contact our Specialist Geologist/Petrographer Dan Cukierski or Rick Hughes on +61 8 9472 4880.

Welcome Dan Cukierski

Microanalysis is excited to introduce you to Dan Cukierski, our Specialist Geologist/Petrographer.
Dan studied Bachelor of Science at the University of Illinois and a Master of Science in Geoscience from University of Iowa.

With several years experience working in the USA for CTL Group as a Petrographer and Supervisor, he brings with him exceptional knowledge and expertise in concrete petrography, thin sectioning and core analysis.
New Scanning Electron Microscope -
Carl Zeiss Evo HD15
Ever wondered how ice crystals grow at the microscopic level?  Ever want to see an ant roll its eyes? 
Our new electron microscope is one of the latest in the range of ZEISS environmental SEM instruments, capable of high resolution imaging at low vacuum (2000 Pa, equivalent to air pressure at about 20 km altitude) with water injection into the analytical chamber.

Calibrations are complete and the LaB6 high intensity electron source is giving better than 3 nm resolution at 20 kV. See our NBS traceable graticule above and below.

Our new SEM is fitted with the same high quality, reproducible and trusted EDS detectors from Oxford Instruments as our first SEM, and at 80 mm2 area, the detector can be optimised at 300Kcps, building x-ray maps in minutes instead of hours. See oxygen x-ray map of a precipitate, below, acquired in under 5 minutes.

Image Of The Month
This month’s image is of a thin metal oxide.

Like what you see? Check out our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.  If you have an idea for an image let us know on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

Image taken by Rick Hughes
Copyright © 2016 Microanalysis Australia Pty Ltd, All rights reserved.

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