Volume 4, Issue 1 (January 2007)
The Line Method for Petrographic Determination of the Quantity of Fly Ash and Ground-granulated Blast Furnace Slag in Hardened Concrete and Blended Cement
Research was undertaken using thin sections and immersion mounts with the objective of using a modified line count procedure for the quantitative petrographic determination of fly ash and ground-granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) in hardened concrete and blended cements. The line method used in this study is a variation of standard microscopic point count methods and yields an average number frequency that is a linear function of the weight percent of fly ash or GGBFS of total cementitious materials. Multiple traverses were counted on thin sections of concrete over areas of paste only and in immersion slides of blended cements containing known amounts of fly ash and GGBFS. The average number of particles in a traverse was computed, the traverse length being equal to the width of the field of view of the petrographic microscope. For hardened concrete, only pozzolan particles were counted. For blended cements, all particles were counted and the ratio of pozzolan particles to total particles was determined. A linear relationship between the average number of pozzolan particles for a traverse line and the weight percent of pozzolan makes it possible to estimate the fly ash and GGBFS content of unknowns. Results of the research indicate that the line method is a rapid and accurate method for petrographic determination of fly ash and GGBFS in hardened concrete and blended cements. This technique and variations of it have been used by other researchers and it has the potential to be a standard test procedure.