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  • Writer's pictureChenelle Canlas, Taylor Jashinsky, Valeria Mora

Concrete Testing 101: MatriScope’s Step-by-Step Guide to Ensure Concrete Strength and Durability

Concrete is a crucial building material used in many construction projects worldwide. From roadways to hotels and houses, concrete is an essential ingredient for construction. A complex mixture of several materials, ensuring the strength and durability of concrete before and during construction is essential. Concrete testing is critical to determining its characteristics and suitability for its intended use. Below, we will outline the steps for testing concrete in a laboratory.

Step 1: Sampling the wet concrete mix


The first step in concrete testing is to collect a representative sample. The sample should be collected from the concrete batch or in-situ concrete, depending on the project requirements. Sampling should be done in accordance with ASTM C172-90, which provides guidelines for obtaining representative samples.


Step 2: Slump Test (Occasionally air content)


The slump test measures the consistency of fresh (wet) concrete. In this test, a slump cone is filled with fresh concrete and then compacted. The cone is then lifted. The distance of the newly formed ‘slump’ is then measured. The slump and air content tests provide information about the concrete’s water content, workability, and consistency. The air content test is only performed if the project specifications require it.

Step 3: Preparing the dried Concrete Sample for Testing


The collected concrete sample (in it’s dry form) should be cleaned of any debris, and surface moisture should be removed. The sample is then crushed and mixed to ensure homogeneity. The amount of sample required depends on the type of test to be performed and the requirements of the project specifications.


Step 4: Compression Test


A compression test is used to determine the compressive strength of concrete, or how much force it is able to withstand before cracking and breaking. In this test, a cylindrical or cube-shaped concrete specimen is placed in a compression testing machine, and a load is applied gradually until the specimen fails (breaks). The maximum load that the specimen can withstand is recorded as the compressive strength of the concrete.


Step 5: Flexural Test


Similarly, the flexural test is used to determine the tensile strength (the maximum load that a material can support without fracture when being stretched) of concrete. In this test, a beam-shaped concrete specimen is placed in a testing machine, and a load is applied at the midpoint until the specimen fails. The maximum load that the specimen can withstand is recorded as the flexural strength of the concrete.


Step 6: Other Tests


In addition to the above tests, other tests may be required depending on the project specifications, such as concrete shrinkage, water permeability, abrasion resistance, and chloride penetration tests.


Step 7: Reporting


The test results should be recorded, analyzed, and reported in accordance with the project specifications. The report will include test results and any other relevant information and is typically prepared and approved by a Staff Engineer and is made available to the client when ready.


Northern Califonia’s Testing and Inspection Agency


MatriScope Engineering Laboratories, Inc. is a leading provider of construction testing and inspection services in Northern California. With a team of experienced professionals and state-of-the-art equipment, MatriScope offers a comprehensive range of testing services for concrete and other construction materials.


Their concrete testing services include sampling, preparation of samples, slump testing, compression testing, flexural testing, and other tests as required by the project specifications. This means that they can provide comprehensive testing services to ensure that the concrete meets the required strength, durability, and suitability for its intended use.


When it comes to materials testing, MatriScope is an excellent choice. With a proven track record of delivering accurate and reliable test results, their team of technicians is highly trained and experienced in testing concrete, as well as other materials including steel, soils, and more. Consider MatriScope for your next project and learn more about the services they provide here.



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