Cement & concrete
The most important binding material is presently cement. It is composed of minerals that react with water. However, each mineral in cement reacts in a different way. Knowing the nature and the amount of each mineral is crucial for understanding the properties of cement and to guarantee a certain quality.
For some applications, additives such as high furnace slags, fly ash, limestone, zeolites, etc. are used in the cement. We are able to quantify these different components independently or in the cement-mixture. This can be useful to check if specifications are met.
Other binders as hydraulic limes have slightly different compositions, but can be quantified by our specialized personnel as well.
Buildings and monuments are not designed for eternity. At some time, they may need esthetical or structural interventions. These interventions are preferably carried out in harmony with its history. The identification of the materials used in the past allows to make the correct choices for their replacement and/or restoration.
We identify and characterize both artificial (mortars, binders, etc.) and natural (sources of natural building stones) materials. Also pigments in paints are often composed of inorganic mineral components. We are able to identify these.
Rock revetment and land reclamation projects most often require the use of natural rocks and sediments. Rock classification, grain size analysis or microscopic investigations are generally required for such projects. Indeed, the presence of fractures, cracks or swelling minerals (as clays) is in general not desirable.