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Concrete / Portland Cement and Strength Arguments

July 13, 2015

 

What does concrete and Portland cement have to do with compressive strength when it comes to topics like sulfate attack and how it affects the performance of concrete?

 

In the early  2000's Building Forensics International Consultants were helped out in a concrete litigation case that involved claims of Sulfate attack that allegedly caused low compressive strength.

 

During the litigation mentioned above, such topics were addressed in depositions.  The average psi strength, sulfate levels, and how the moisture from the soils may have contributed to the concrete's low compressive strength allegations.  

 

The graph above was produced as part of a presentation to support the findings that the cement/water ratio in the concrete fell in the normal levels and that the overall strength of the concrete was normal.  

 

Destructive Tests were performed in the interiors, garages, and foundations of the residences and the sulfate levels also were in the normal range for the vast majority of the concrete cores tested. 

 

There was also a claim that sulfates were spreading through the onsite soils, whether they are silts or clays,  transported by means of water.  Testimony refuted that the visqueen would've acted as a barrier, and therefore it is unlikely that any sulfates could ever penetrate the interior concrete slabs. 

 

BFI Staff Writer -

 

 

 

 

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