ASTM C856 - 17

    Standard Practice for Petrographic Examination of Hardened Concrete

    Active Standard ASTM C856 | Developed by Subcommittee: C09.65

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.02


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    Abstract

    This practice outlines the standard procedures for performing petrographic examination of hardened concrete samples. The samples examined may be taken from concrete constructions, that is, all sorts of objects, units, or structures that have been built of hydraulic cement concrete. They may also be concrete products or portions thereof, or concrete or mortar specimens that have been exposed in natural environments or simulated service conditions, or subjected to laboratory tests. This practice applies to samples of all types of hardened hydraulic-cement mixtures, including concrete, mortar, grout, plaster, stucco, terrazzo, and the like. The equipments generally used for specimen preparation are diamond saw, cutting lubricant, horizontal lap wheels, free abrasive machine, polishing wheel, hot plate or oven, prospector's pick and/or bricklayer's hammer, abrasives, plate-glass squares, suitable media, and microscope slides. For specimen examination, the equipments needed are stereomicroscope, dollies, petrographic or polarizing microscope, metallographic microscope, eyepiece micrometer, stage micrometer, microscope lamps, needleholders and points, bottles with droppers, assorted forceps, lens paper, refractometer, and immersion media. Appropriate procedures for the sampling, preparation, and examination of specimens are detailed methodically.

    This abstract is a brief summary of the referenced standard. It is informational only and not an official part of the standard; the full text of the standard itself must be referred to for its use and application. ASTM does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents of this abstract are accurate, complete or up to date.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice outlines procedures for the petrographic examination of samples of hardened concrete. The samples examined may be taken from concrete constructions, they may be concrete products or portions thereof, or they may be concrete or mortar specimens that have been exposed in natural environments, or to simulated service conditions, or subjected to laboratory tests. The phrase “concrete constructions” is intended to include all sorts of objects, units, or structures that have been built of hydraulic cement concrete.

    Note 1: A photographic chart of materials, phenomena, and reaction products discussed in Sections 8 – 13 and Tables 1-6 are available as Adjunct C856 (ADJCO856).

    (A) A substantial portion of the coarse aggregate has maximum dimensions in the range shown as measured on sawed or broken surfaces.
    (B) Sections sawed or drilled close to and parallel to formed surfaces appear to show local turbulence as a result of spading or rodding close to the form. Sections sawed in the plane of bedding (normal to the direction of placement) are likely to have inconspicuous orientation. Sections broken normal to placement in conventionally placed concrete with normal bond tend to have aggregate knobs abundant on the bottom of the upper piece as cast and sockets abundant on the top of the lower piece as cast.
    (A) Dana, E. S., Textbook of Mineralogy, revised by W. E. Ford, John Wiley & Sons, New York, N. Y., 4th ed., 1932, pp. 273–274.
    (B) Pore visible to the naked eye, or at × _, or sucks in water that is dropped on it.
    (C) Dark solid spheres or hollow-centered spheres of glass, or of magnetite, or some of glass and some of magnetite, recognizable at magnification of × 9 on sawed or broken surfaces. Other mineral admixtures with characteristic particles visible at low magnification are recognizable. Ground surface of concrete containing portland blast-furnace slag cement are unusually white near-free surfaces but retain greenish or blue-greenish patches, and slag particles can be seen with the stereomicroscope or polarizing microscope.
    (A) Secondary ettringite can sometimes be recognized by crystal habit and silky luster.
    (B) Fly ash can be detected by color and shape when dark spheres are present. In concrete that has not oxidized the presence of slag may be inferred from the green or blue color of the paste.
    (C) Ettringite and calcium hydroxide in voids may be recognized by their crystal habits.
    (D) Magnesium oxide and calcium oxide should be identifiable in polished section.
    (A) The literature and private reports include data on many unidentified secondary compounds in concrete; these are not included in the tabulation. Indexes of refraction of common mineralogic types are taken from standard works on mineralogy.
    (B) Higher and lower indexes of refraction have been recorded for naturally occurring ettringite (13) and thaumasite (12), but it is not known that the naturally occurring minerals and compounds found in hydrated cement are of the same composition.

    1.2 The petrographic procedures outlined herein are applicable to the examination of samples of all types of hardened hydraulic-cement mixtures, including concrete, mortar, grout, plaster, stucco, terrazzo, and the like. In this practice, the material for examination is designated as “concrete,” even though the commentary may be applicable to the other mixtures, unless the reference is specifically to media other than concrete.

    1.3 The purposes of and procedures for petrographic examination of hardened concrete are given in the following sections:

     

    Section

     

    Qualifications of Petrographers and Use of Technicians

    4

    Purposes of Examination

    5

    Apparatus

    6

    Selection and Use of Apparatus

    7

    Samples

    8

    Examination of Samples

    9

    Specimen Preparation

    10

    Visual and Stereomicroscope Examination

    11

    Polarizing Microscope Examination

    12

    Paste Features

    13

    Report

    14

    1.4 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as the standard. The SI units in parentheses are provided for information purposes only.

    1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. A specific hazard statement is given in 6.2.10.1.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    C125 Terminology Relating to Concrete and Concrete Aggregates

    C215 Test Method for Fundamental Transverse, Longitudinal, and Torsional Resonant Frequencies of Concrete Specimens

    C227 Test Method for Potential Alkali Reactivity of Cement-Aggregate Combinations (Mortar-Bar Method)

    C342 Test Method for Potential Volume Change of Cement-Aggregate Combinations

    C441 Test Method for Effectiveness of Pozzolans or Ground Blast-Furnace Slag in Preventing Excessive Expansion of Concrete Due to the Alkali-Silica Reaction

    C452 Test Method for Potential Expansion of Portland-Cement Mortars Exposed to Sulfate

    C457 Test Method for Microscopical Determination of Parameters of the Air-Void System in Hardened Concrete

    C496/C496M Test Method for Splitting Tensile Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens

    C597 Test Method for Pulse Velocity Through Concrete

    C803/C803M Test Method for Penetration Resistance of Hardened Concrete

    C805 Test Method for Rebound Number of Hardened Concrete

    C823 Practice for Examination and Sampling of Hardened Concrete in Constructions

    C1012 Test Method for Length Change of Hydraulic-Cement Mortars Exposed to a Sulfate Solution

    C1260 Test Method for Potential Alkali Reactivity of Aggregates (Mortar-Bar Method)

    E3 Guide for Preparation of Metallographic Specimens

    E883 Guide for Reflected-Light Photomicrography


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.100.30 (Concrete and concrete products)

    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/C0856-17

    Citation Format

    ASTM C856-17, Standard Practice for Petrographic Examination of Hardened Concrete, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017, www.astm.org

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