Our Pulse

06 January 2015

DRP on Scaling & Concrete Petrography

Concrete petrography often involves the study of premature wear on pavements

Happy New Year to All.

As we move through the winter months, days shorten, temperatures drop, snow falls and conditions become ripe for scaling to occur. Concrete petrography is an essential tool for understanding why scaling may have occurred and how severe the damage may be expected to be. In my most recent contribution to Concrete Contractor magazine, titled “Using Petrography to Understand and Resolve Scaling Issues” I discuss how concrete petrographers approach scaling investigations and review a few of the most commonly observed scaling mechanisms that affect concrete. Go here to see the article on the Concrete Contractor web site.

Scaling issues have been around for a long time and many useful standards and practices are in place to minimize this problem. However, in recent years many working in the industry aside from concrete petrographers have noted a major increase in both the frequency and severity of scaling issues. In addition, many have observed that pavements, sidewalks, curbs and gutters that had performed quite well for more than 20 years experience rapid deterioration in recent years. In many cases, this deterioration  accompanied changes by owners and maintenance companies to new types of deicing and anti-icing chemicals. Understanding the relationship between different deicers and the deterioration of pavements is a critical task for our industry and petrography is at the forefront of developing this knowledge.

I am working with a task group in ACI committee 201 (Durability) to craft some language for the 201 document Guide to Durable Concrete that we hope will offer useful information to designers, contractors and owners on how to minimize scaling deterioration. Stay tuned to our blog as I try to keep readers up to date on how we progress. One of the first accomplishments of the task group is to present the latest research in a technical session at the upcoming ACI convention in Kansas City, Missouri. We have a great time slot (Monday afternoon) so please come and attend. For more information on the Spring 2015 ACI convention in KC click here.

Don’t forget, the Fall 2015 ACI Convention will be November 8-12 in Denver, Colorado. I am looking forward to a great convention, not only because I don’t have to fly. To start, we have a timely and important theme-Constructability. The convention will feature seminars on re-building Colorado after the floods, a concrete mixer replete with local microbrews, great student activities and a Contractor’s Day and lunch loaded with timely topics.

To get information on event highlights for the local ACI chapter click here. Among other things, this page has links to contact folks about exhibit space and convention sponsorship. Stay tuned to our blog as we update you with specifics regarding the upcoming convention.