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The Use of Resistivity Testing to Improve Concrete Quality


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Presentation Date

01 Dec 2015, 11:00 am


Presented by: Dr. Julie Hartell Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Oklahoma State University

The physical and chemical nature of concrete makes it particularly sensitive to electrical conductivity. Recently, investigations have demonstrated that electrical methods, such as the surface resistivity and bulk resistivity methods, are cost effective and accurate means for assessing the durability performance of a concrete mixture. The latter was established through comparative relationship analysis with the standard method of testing ionic conductivity, the rapid chloride permeability test (RCPT). Many procedures and recommendations have been published which led to the developments of new AASHTO and ASTM standards. And, since their introduction, resistivity has been used in the industry for the past decade as a viable means to assess the quality of concrete mixtures with respect to durability performance.

Moreover, resistivity properties of a concrete mixture at a specific age may provide insight on its physical and chemical properties. This principle is currently being investigated at Oklahoma State University to determine whether the method can be utilized to discern undesirable mixture variations. In this case, resistivity testing could be used to improve the current process of concrete mixture approval and site acceptance. The presentation will address the operating concepts and theory behind the testing method; along with a comprehensive discussion on the procedures, result interpretation, application and limitations.

Bio: Dr. Hartell is part of the Structures and Materials Group housed in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Oklahoma State University. Her current research interests are based on advancing our understanding of the behavior of cementitious concrete material through the improvement of testing methods, both destructive and non-destructive, to properly assess its performance in service. She is currently investigating how chemical and physical microstructural disparities may affect the behavior of degraded concrete in order to determine appropriate non-destructive means to quantify the extent of damage under various conditions. Her research interests are reflected in the classroom by teaching the undergraduate Engineering Materials Laboratory course and offering graduate courses on construction materials, concrete testing and monitoring methods, along with infrastructure condition assessment and repair.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Re-Cast Tier1 University Transportation Center


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Video - Presentation

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Final Version


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

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