Congratulations go out to second-year civil engineering doctoral student Elizabeth Nadelman whose poster, “A Resistivity-Based Approach to Optimizing Concrete Performance” was recognized July 10 with a student poster award during the Annual Meeting of the American Ceramic Society's Cements Division, held at the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
A native of Lake Mary, Florida, Nadelman was one of six graduate students recognized for their poster presentations. She was accompanied by her faculty mentor, Dr. Kimberly Kurtis, an American Ceramics Society Fellow. Nadelman’s poster explored a new use of surface resistivity (SR) testing for assessing concrete quality.
“Currently, SR testing is used as an alternative to the more time-consuming and labor-intensive Rapid Chloride Permeability (RCP) test described in ASTM C1202 and AASHTO T277,” she writes.
“But extensions of this test method to other aspects of concrete durability are also possible. “
Nadelman proposed using a novel extension of the SR test for optimizing concrete mix design and performance. The research presented in her poster demonstrated that changes in concrete's surface resistivity over time can be used to identify the time of onset of secondary chemical reactions, such as the pozzolanic reaction and latent hydraulic reaction. These increases surface resistivity suggest densification of microstructure and decreased permeability. This is an exciting finding becuase this is a simple and economical method for optimizing concrete mixtures for durability.