Macro Photography as an Alternative to the Stereoscopic Microscope in the Standard Test Method for Microscopical Characterisation of the Air-Void System in Hardened Concrete: Equipment and Methodology

Materials (Basel). 2018 Aug 23;11(9):1515. doi: 10.3390/ma11091515.


The determination of the parameters that characterize the air-void system in hardened concrete elements becomes crucial for structures under freezing and thawing cycles. The ASTM C457 standard describes some procedures to accomplish this task, but they are not easy to apply, require specialised equipment, such as a stereoscopic microscope, and result in highly tedious tasks to be performed. This paper describes an alternative procedure to the modified point-count method that is described in the Standard that makes use of macro photography. This alternative procedure uses macro-photographic images that can be obtained with a quite standard photo camera and it is successfully applied to a large set of samples and presents some advantages over the traditional method, since the required equipment is less expensive and provides a more comfortable and less tedious procedure for the operator.

Keywords: concrete; durability; freezing and thawing; pore characterization; spacing factor.