VIDEO: Microscopy Lab Optimises Concrete

GCP Applied Technologies' Microscopy Lab helps customers with problem materials andconcrete. It al​so aids in the development of new products for GCP's R&D department.

The lab takes customers' concrete samples and makes a thin section of it to examine under the microscope. GCP scientists look at all of the different components to see if they're behaving correctly. If not, scientists then ask why.

"We had a customer who was having problems with concrete on one particular placement where they were seeing a lot of bubbling and foaming at the surface. This was a very strange problem that they hadn't encountered before", Callie LaFleur, a GCP concrete petrographer said. "Our team took in the customer's samples, cut it in half, and found a piece of asphalt that was wreaking havoc on everything. We would have had no idea about that if we hadn't cut into the sample to see what was going to be on the inside".

This process gave the customer peace of mind that there wasn't a problem with the concrete in general, just a few small areas where pieces of asphalt had infiltrated. This knowledge prevented them from having to replace the whole thing.

GCP's Microscopy Lab is helping the construction industry produce concrete more efficiently and at a lower cost. It is also making concrete more environmentally friendly by using less cement.

  • Concrete
  • Precast producer
  • Producer