CEMENT/CONCRETE

Problem Solving

Cement/Concrete

Concrete samples were provided for analysis to determine the nature of suspected organic material contained in the concrete from a spill.

The following examples illustrate some of our contributions to this business sector:

  • Standard compression tests were performed on 2″ grout cube specimens according to AASHTO T 106 for Compressive Strength of Hydraulic Cement Mortars. The test was required to qualify material used in the repair of a landslide on a section of roadway.
  • Concrete samples were provided for analysis to determine the nature of suspected organic material contained in the concrete from a spill. Portions of several samples were extracted using Soxhlet apparati and subsequently analyzed using the GCMS. Results indicated that hazardous material was present and the concrete was removed in a safe manner.
  • Compresssion tests were performed on concrete samples prior to placement of a new, heavier milling machine. Tests showed that the compressive strength of the concrete was more than adequate to support the intended load.
  • Touchstone performed a comparison of the corrosion rates and reactive behavior of Galfan coated steel versus standard zinc coated steel, when the test panels were exposed to concrete during the curing period.
  • An insurance company needed to determine the cause of horizontal movement of a foundation wall and concrete patio. After eliminating possible causes such as settling, impact, etc. the responsibility was assigned to the failure to install expansion joints in a long, concrete driveway. During a period of high temperature (daytime temperatures above 95o F for three weeks) the driveway had expanded and pushed the garage floor toward the rear of the residence causing movement in the rear foundation wall and patio.
  • A recently poured concrete driveway developed spalling damage during the first winter. Although the owner claimed not to have applied rock salt, as instructed by the contractor, the suspicion remained that the damage had resulted from salt usage. Specimens provided from the driveway were pulverized and mixed with distilled water. The resulting liquid was tested for chlorine by adding a silver nitrate solution. The formation of a fine, white precipitate indicated heavy halogen (chlorine or fluorine) contamination. EDS analysis confirmed the presence of chlorine in the concrete samples.

The above examples are only a sample of our work in this area. We would be pleased to provide any additional information you may require. We also invite you to review examples on our website of work that we have performed in support of other business sectors.