Due to it’s importance in structural engineering, concrete is often required to bear and support heavy loads. Therefore it needs to be tested before you use it to make sure it’s of sufficient strength and durability.
Different types of Concrete Testing can be carried out depending on whether the concrete is freshly mixed or hardened and can range from testing it’s carbonation depth or bond strength to testing for water permeability/moisture absorption.
Concrete Testing – meeting the standards …
In the UK all concrete is required to meet British Standards (BSI) before it can be used.
Material concrete testing to find out the exact components of the concrete can be carried out in a laboratory to ensure that it contains exactly what the manufacturer claims it does, whilst on site testing can also be carried out to ensure that the mix is fit for purpose.
Reputable companies, like Maxi Readymix, will often use third parties to test their concrete in order to make sure that any results are neutral.
Types of Concrete Testing …
The most common type of concrete testing on-site is a slump test.
This is carried out to ensure that the concrete is workable after it has been mixed and that the correct amount of water has been added. It is almost always conducted by the supervisor on site and involves filling a slump cone with three equal layers of concrete before turning it upside down to see whether the concrete stays in place.
In order for the concrete to be considered usable, it has to form a true slump. In other words the concrete has to maintain more or less the same shape. If the concrete has subsided slightly then it is considered a shear slump and will have to be re-mixed.
If it collapses completely then it is deemed to be a collapse slump.
Compression testing is a laboratory test carried out to measure the strength and durability of the concrete.
A sample batch of the concrete is measured out in cubic moulds of around 150mm x 150mm x 15 mm (or 100mm x100mm x100mm). Usually a minimum of 3 cubes are taken from each sample which are then stored at set temperatures, depending on when the cube is to be tested.
If the cube is set to be tested in more than 7 days it should be stored at 15 – 25 dc, if tested in less than 7 days, it should be stored at 18 – 22 dc.
The concrete sample is then put into a compression testing machine which subjects the concrete to a required amount of force in order to measure the extent of how much it cracks.
Contact Us today if you require Concrete Testing.