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AUTOMATIC TEST OF AIR VOID DISTRIBUTION

IN HARDENED CONCRETE IN LESS


THAN 15 MINUTES IN YOUR LABORATORY

Increased productivity

Operator independent

Excellent repeatability

Excellent reproducibility

Good accuracy

AUTOMATIC TEST OF AIR VOID DISTRIBUTION


IN HARDENED CONCRETE IN LESS
THAN 15 MINUTES IN YOUR LABORATORY

The RapidAir 457 equipment


provides an automatic system
for analyzing the air content in
hardened concrete. The analysis
time with the RapidAir 457 system
is less than 15 minutes, which

aligned, tested, and ready for Plug-andplay use. The user-interface comprises an
Analysis Wizard allowing the daily
operations to be handled in an easy and
logical fashion that minimizes the risk of
analysis or reporting errors.

should be compared to the 4-6


hours normally required for manual

Sample Preparation

analysis with conventional types of

Following the traditional grinding and


polishing steps of ASTM C 457, a
contrast enhancing technique (described
in EN 480-11) is used to obtain a plane
section surface where the air voids
appear bright white, and the remaining
surface appears black. Such a surface
contrast facilitates maximum precision,
and identification of all air voids present
in the concrete sample. The time needed
to perform a contrast enhancement is
approximately 30 minutes. Since all
preparation defects are addressed during
the preparation procedure, the advantage
of the contrast enhancement is that it
eliminates the need for a split second
human judgment, which is typically
encountered during the normal manual
type analysis.

equipment.

The system can replace the manual test


performed as described in the ASTM
designation C 457-98 Standard Test
Method for Microscopical Determination
of Parameters of the Air-Void System
in Hardened Concrete or the test
performed according to EN 480-11
Determination of air void characteristics
in hardened concrete. Both methods
include specifications for grinding, and
polishing a plane section of concrete,
and for measuring the air void distribution
with the use of a microscope according
to the linear traverse method.
Advantages

Increased productivity
Operator independent
Excellent repeatability
Excellent reproducibility
Good accuracy

Analysis

Following contrast enhancement, the


plane section is mounted onto the

moving stage that is positioned under the


video camera. The analysis control unit
now automatically moves the stage, and
the air void distribution is determined
from a typical scan of 1364 areas
throughout the plane section (1364 areas
provide a 2413 mm line of traverse as is
required by ASTM C 457 for concrete
with a 1" maximum size aggregate).
Report Generation

After scanning the plane section, a report


file (in MS-Excel format) is automatically
saved. The operator can choose between
compliant calculations according to
ASTM C 457 and EN 480, between using
SI and US units, and between letter size
and A4 paper formats. In addition to the
calculated air void parameters notably
air content, specific surface area, and
spacing factor, the report file also
contains tabular as well as graphical
presentations of the results of the air void
analysis. The report file also contains a
worksheet with the raw data in case the
operator would like to perform additional
user-specific calculations. At any time
following the analysis, the report file can
be printed or viewed from within the
RapidAir software user-interface using the
Analysis Wizard.

Hardware and Software

The RapidAir 457 test equipment


consists of an automatic analysis system
comprising a computerized control unit
(PC) with a 19" color monitor, a video
camera, a microscope objective mounted
on a moving stage, and a user friendly
analysis software operating in a MSWindows environment. The RapidAir 457
system has a resolution better than 2.5
microns, and is delivered pre-configured,

Example of the four page


ASTM C457 report with
a picture of the analyzed
plane section (optional)
on the front page.

Black and white contrast enhanced


surface ready for air void analysis. In the
final step of the contrast enhancement,
any defects in the concrete, and any
voids in the aggregate have been
blackened to reduce any potential error.

The MS-Windows based user-interface of


the RapidAir 457 software with a live
image, a binary image, a window (top left)
for threshold setting, and for positioning of
the stage, and the Analysis Wizard window
(top right) for configuring the individual
analysis.

Air content

Repeatability of RapidAir 457 analysis

14

Close-up of the binary image with the


analysis in progress. Where the green line
of traverse intersects an air void, it turns
red here two chords are recorded. The
field of view is 1.82 x 1.35 mm, i.e. with
768 x 576 pixels the resolution is better
than 2.5 microns.

RapidAir 457 (%)

Sample ID

Analysis no.

Air content (%)

Specific surface

Spacing factor

area (mm -1 )

(mm)

2.94
3.34
3.13
2.74
5.28
5.44
5.22
5.29
12.93
13.53
12.99
13.25
2.20
2.06
2.25
2.25
10.04
9.81
9.63
10.01
5.17
4.84
3.93
4.49
8.20
7.46
8.30
7.63
8.79
9.92
8.85
8.11
1.92
1.82
2.08
1.58

42.87
39.29
42.49
45.48
37.74
36.26
39.77
38.63
33.24
34.84
36.32
36.05
17.18
20.06
18.00
18.14
30.71
31.26
30.94
30.05
33.15
33.31
36.74
36.41
18.96
21.83
20.19
20.98
26.06
25.53
28.05
26.94
18.07
19.21
20.01
22.52

0.14
0.14
0.14
0.14
0.12
0.13
0.12
0.12
0.06
0.06
0.06
0.06
0.40
0.35
0.38
0.38
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.14
0.14
0.14
0.14
0.15
0.15
0.14
0.15
0.11
0.10
0.10
0.11
0.41
0.39
0.36
0.36

0.37

1.58

0.011

12

10
8
6

2
4
2

European laboratories (%)


0
0

10

12

Specific surface area


50

14

RapidAir 457 (mm -1 )

40

30

6
20

10

7
European laboratories (mm -1 )
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

8
Air content, and specific surface area
of the same nine concretes were
measured by RapidAir 457, and by
thirteen European laboratories. The
values presented from RapidAir 457 are
the average of four measurements where
the sample was rotated 90 degrees
between the measurements, and the
values of the European laboratories are
the average of thirteen measurements,
i.e. one from each laboratory. The values
of the thirteen European laboratories
were reported in the paper: Automated
air void analysis on hardened concrete;
Results of a European intercomparison
testing program by Dr. Jan Elsen in
Cement and Concrete Research, 31,
pp. 1027-1031, 2001.

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Standard deviation

Air void parameters of nine different


concrete samples measured by RapidAir
457, and the corresponding estimated
standard deviations. Each sample was
measured four times at identical settings,
and between each measurement the
sample was rotated 90 degrees.

Training Course
With the purchase of a RapidAir 457
system, Concrete Experts International
will provide free of charge (travel and
accommodation not included) a one-day
training course in performing air void
analysis at our facilities. For a longer
course or a seminar at the clients office,
arrangements can be made. Please
contact Concrete Experts International
for details.

International ApS
Annekegade 1
DK-2100 Copenhagen
Denmark
Tel

+45 / 3916 1660

Fax +45 / 3916 1760


info@concrete-experts.com
www.concrete-experts.com

Due Design AS 2591-0802

Concrete Experts