The slump test is quick but not particularly accurate. It has long been known that it is a poor indicator of the true flow behaviour of concrete. Better indications can be obtained using specialist equipment designed to measure concrete flow characteristics. The department developed a lab-based rheology measurement system, which has been very successful. Work is now underway to develop a portable system suitable for on-site use.
Numerous projects have explored novel concrete mixes. These projects range from light-weight concretes for embankment construction, concretes formed using recycled paper waste, deliberately porous mixes designed for lining wells and many others using various grades of PFA etc.
Concrete and Impact
The department has undertaken research into the behaviour of concrete under impact. This research has been of a fundamental nature. The samples were testing under both active and passive confinement thus modelling different states of tri-axial stress. This work has been undertaken in conjunction with the late Prof. Simon Perry.
Drying out of concrete slabs
This is an area of very active research. The presence of moisture within newly constructed floor slabs can delay placement of floor finishes. Accelerated drying can unfortunately cause problems later and has led to the failure of many floor coverings. Work is ongoing on the development of analytical models that will be helpful in dictating how drying can be accelerated without leading to long-term problems.
Telemetry for concrete testing
Many sensors in concrete, thermocouples, strain gauges, transducers etc. require wiring back to a data-logger and from there to a computer. The department has been working in conjunction with a local manufacturer, Tramex, to develop wireless systems whereby radio signals are used to transmit readings to a nearby computer directly.
Project coordinator: Associate Prof. Roger P. West