In the selection of my research report topic, I was motivated to study concrete and more specifically admixtures within concrete because of a need in the construction industry to improve the knowledge and understanding of these subjects.
Concrete is arguably the most widely used construction material since it was patented in 1824 and in the last 20 years there has been a marked increase in the use of concrete admixtures. The development of admixtures has enhanced the versatility and efficiency of concrete construction applications. Despite the many ? benefits attainable through the use of admixtures there can also be negative results, especially with the incorrect use or over dosage of admixture within the concrete mix.
The rectification of concrete construction work can prove to be very costly as members of the cement and construction industries have testified. There is a need for proper forensic analysis of hardened concrete in order to determine its mix constituents so that problem areas whether they are in the supply of materials or at the work face, can be identified.
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy in combination with a microcomputer, was used in a series of laboratory controlled experiments on hardened cement mortars in order to determine by infrared analysis the presence and concentration of a concrete admixture.
The experiments were successful in determining the presence of an admixture within the cement mortars as well as displaying a sensitivity to the quantity of admixture in the samples. Unfortunately the number of experimental samples needed to obtain a reliable result is large, and as such where only limited samples are available for forensic analysis, accurate results are not possible. An important finding, coming from the results of this ‘research, is that the admixture in question did not disperse evenly through the mix. The potential for weaknesses in concrete mixes with admixtures is apparent from this finding and must be of concern to the concrete construction industry.
|Degree Type||Masters degree|
|Degree Description||MSc (Building)|