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Friday, 20 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Production and testing

Detecting alkali-silica reaction gel in cement-based materials

Thursday, 7 February 2013

A new study demonstrates the novel use of microwave measurements to distinguish between mortars containing alkali-silica reactive (ASR) aggregate and non-reactive aggregate.

New method distinguishes between mortars containing alkali-silica reactive and non-reactive aggregate / Source: Fotolia

New method distinguishes between mortars containing alkali-silica reactive and non-reactive aggregate / Source: Fotolia

Microwave methods have previously shown success in detecting changes in moisture content and binding (e.g., bound water versus free water) in cement-based materials through extensive analysis of their reflection coefficient.

Researchers from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and the Georgia Institute of Technology, US, demonstrate in their new study the novel use of microwave measurements to distinguish between mortars containing alkali-silica reactive (ASR) aggregate and non-reactive aggregate. The variations in measurements are linked to the production of ASR gel and its tendency to attract free water from its environment.

The authors of the study, K.M. Donnell, R. Zoughi and K.E. Kurtis, present the analysis and results of the interaction of microwave signals with ASR gel-producing mortar samples and those without the ASR gel.

According to the scientists, this work gives credence to follow-up investigations. For example, to describe the overall dielectric properties of ASR-affected cementitious samples along with pertinent dielectric mixing models. Furthermore, future work may also include samples of smaller dimension (to reduce overall signal attenuation) as well as incorporating other frequency bands (and suitably-sized samples) into the measurement process.

Read the complete study "Demonstration of microwave method for detection of alkali-silica reaction (ASR) gel in cement-based materials” in "Cement and Concrete Research”, Vol. 44, February 2013, pp. 1-7.

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