This service expands on and complements the guidance we offer on working with materials such as steel and polymers, using the same techniques and equipment to provide detailed analyses of material performance.
In the drilling and completion of oil and gas wells, cement is used to create zonal isolation, provide structural support for casing, protect casing from corrosion and protect useable water. In the nuclear industry, concrete (cement with aggregates and water) is used in operations including construction, waste immobilisation and in-situ stabilisation during decommissioning. Onshore and offshore wind turbines typically use reinforced concrete foundations to reduce the natural oscillation period of tower systems.
TWI has highly specialised scientists able to provide support on issues relating to cement and concrete. We also have extensive bespoke testing facilities, already in use for the evaluation of metallic and polymeric materials behaviour, that can be used to assess the behaviour of cement- and concrete-based materials.
Characterisation and Corrosion Assessment
Among the areas on which TWI’s experts can provide support to Members is the characterisation of the chemical and mechanical properties, ageing and degradation of these materials in complex fluid environments. TWI’s corrosion engineers are able to assist with the corrosion assessment of steel–concrete systems, including cathodic protection, in all industry sectors.
TWI has test facilities that can be used for direct short- or long-term exposure of small-scale tests, as well as larger facilities for testing specimens in simulated environments, containing hydrocarbons, CO2, H2S (and other gas mixtures), seawater and brines. We possess a large number of autoclaves and a high-pressure flow loop facility to enable testing at elevated pressures and temperatures, representative of in-service environments.
TWI has advanced technologies for carrying out cement and concrete characterisation, including scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.
We can evaluate the corrosion behaviour of steel–concrete systems using techniques covering short- or longer-term electrochemical testing (linear polarisation resistance, galvanic current, potential monitoring and AC impedance measurement) and conduct direct exposure tests in simulated environments.
TWI can perform testing in accordance with internationally recognised standards and develop test methodologies in line with Members’ requirements.
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Concrete Compression Strength Test
The video below shows a block of concrete undergoing a compression strength test to the point of failure.