Coatings are used on buildings and structures to protect the components of each from weather, and any conditions the components will be exposed to. A properly applied coating can last for years, but a coating that has improperly applied can fail quickly. Most coating failures are caused by insufficient surface preparation, which lead to a … Continue reading Basic Coating Failure Analysis
Sulfate in concrete has connotations of being negative and causing durability issues. Issues with sulfate in concrete do emerge when there is too much sulfate present, but it is actually a necessary component in a concrete mixture. As part of a concrete mixture, sulfate reacts with calcium aluminate in the cement, to help control the … Continue reading Why Does Sulfate in Concrete Matter?
Polyurethane foam is extensively and increasingly being used as insulation and vapor barriers in homes and buildings. There are many different types of polyurethane foam which makes it a versatile material, having a range of practical building applications. Types of foam include open cell polyurethane, closed cell polyurethane, extruded polystyrene, expanded polystyrene, spray polyurethane foam, … Continue reading Potential Issues with Using Polyurethane Foam for Building Insulation
Handheld XRF (x-ray fluorescence) is a powerful, non-destructive technique that can identify and quantify multiple elements simultaneously. The instrument has a wide range of applications including metal identification, determination of the presence of lead, soil analysis, coating analysis, and stain analysis. XRF works by emitting an x-ray beam capable of displacing electrons in the inner … Continue reading Handheld XRF Analysis for Identification of Stains, Lead Paint, Zinc Primer, Galvanizing, and Aluminum Substrate
In concrete, steel is often embedded to reinforce the concrete, providing tensile and flexural strength. This combination of steel and concrete allows for some of the most durable and beautiful structures to be built. Concrete, as a building material, has superior compressive strength to most materials, and is durable in many different exposure environments. However, … Continue reading How the pH of Concrete is Related to Corrosion Protection
One of the most common chemical analyses performed on concrete is chloride analysis. Grouts, mortars, soils, and water samples are also often tested for chloride. Chloride is a negatively charged ion that has the ability to react with the iron in steel reinforcing, causing corrosion. This can lead to cracking of concrete due to the … Continue reading Why does chloride in concrete matter? What’s the difference between water-soluble chloride and acid-soluble chloride?
In 2013, marble tiles were installed as pedestrian pavers on the exterior plaza of a new condominium built near the Atlantic coast in Florida. After three years of being in service, the marble tiles started exhibiting orangish brown surface staining that had a similar appearance to iron oxide staining. Replacement of the marble tiles would … Continue reading Case Study: Staining of Exterior Marble Tile Caused by Cold Applied Asphaltic Waterproofing Membrane: Solved by FTIR Analysis