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Nanotechnology in Cement and Concrete Science.
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Corrosion of Steel Reinforcement in Concrete.

  Spalling from concrete stairs due to the corrosion of the reinforcementConcrete is the most widely used construction material in the world. It can easily be cast into various shapes. Here is a nice concrete stair beside the Mackenzie bridge in Ottawa. Due to the de-icing salt that is used in the winter, rebars are corroded and the rust can be observed below the stairs. In some severe parts, spalling has occurred just above the other stairs! This structure may still have its load bearing capacity but it is not considered 'safe' by people. 

< click to see the larger size [featured as the cover page of the book entitled "Concrete Repair: A Practical Guide"]


Instrumentation in old days of cement and concrete research!


The glove box setup

Extreme care must be taken when conducting the experiments on cement samples in order to avoid carbonation of the hydrated products i.e. calcium hydroxide and C-S-H. Sometimes maintaining a specific relative humidity is necessary. In this case, for example in the image, air can be circulated into the glove box over the vapor pressure of salt solutions.

glove box
thermal analysis

Thermal analysis

This is a special setup for the thermal analysis instrument so that the sample can be handled in the nitrogen gas environment. The results for heat flow and mass change versus temperature were plotted using a 2-D ruler type of grapher on the paper. It is now very easy to conduct a thermal analysis using fully computerized facilities for TGA-DTA or TGA-DSC.



I am still amazed by the quality of the research work in those days. It is hard to conceive that scientist have made so many advancements using basic instruments. It brings a serious responsibility upon us to contribute to the knowledge as much as possible having access to the advanced and sophisticated systems.

researcher using vycor glass


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