Tests and research services

A number of specialists – many of whom have decades of experience in research, testing, mixing, certification and monitoring – work in Innovation Center Iceland’s Material Science & Concrete Technology Department on concrete and cement-based materials. The Department has a wide range of equipment and very good testing facilities. All general tests on concrete, plaster and cement-based materials are carried out, as well as a large number of tests that require specialized equipment.

General tests include quality control of cement materials and the ascertainment of mix ratios, tests on abrasion resistance, in which several different procedures can be used; strength measurements of various kinds; and measurements of the internal structure of hardened concrete, including the air-void system, which is the main influence on abrasion resistance and some other factors. More specialized tests include alkali tests, cement tests, measurements of thin sections, and measurements of the flow properties of fresh concrete, i.e. measurements of liquefaction shear stress and viscosity properties. One of the world’s leading scientists in this field, Professor Olafur H. Wallevik, works at Innovation Center Iceland and has developed various viscosity meters for concrete, mortar and cement pastes – these meters are the most prominent of their kind in the world today. On the basis of their reputation in this area, the Center has received a sizeable number of foreign projects from manufacturers of admixtures, as development in cement technology is currently highly based on the development of new kinds of admixtures.

A summary of the most important and most common tests taken on by the Department are listed below.

Fresh concrete and cement-based materials

  • Taking samples
  • Measurements of rheological properties
  • Measurements of rheological properties under changing environmental conditions
  • Air void measurements
  • Measurements of heat generation and measurements of the heat-generation process resulting from hydration
  • Measurements of bulk density and specific gravity
  • Slump flow
  • Measurements of binding time
  • Measurements of water absorption
  • Cementtests
  • Grinding fineness – Blaine
  • Measurements of bleeding and leakage
  • Measurements of soundness
  • Hardening
  • Measurements of the air voids of fresh concrete

Hardened concrete and cement-based materials

  • Compressive strength measurements of concrete cylinders and cubes
  • Measurements of the alkali-silica reaction
  • Measurements of air content and air distribution
  • Shrinkage measurements
  • Creep measurements
  • Measurements of chloride conductivity
  • Measurements of chloride content
  • Measurements of water absorption
  • Hygrometric measurements
  • Measurements of bulk density
  • Shear force measurements
  • Measurements of the coefficient of thermal expansion
  • Frost resistance tests
  • Measurements of thin sections
  • Cleavage tests
  • Measurements of shotcrete and sand cement
  • Measurements of paving stones
  • Measurements of abrasion and abrasion resistance
  • Condition inspections and damage analysis
  • Thickness of concrete cover
  • Measurements of hardness with a Schmidt hammer
  • Core sampling, pressure tests
  • Compressive strength and leakage tests of pipes
  • Measurements of air content
  • Count of air bubbles using a microscope
  • Water absorption, residual voids content and bulk density
  • Measurements of the location of reinforcing steel
  • Tests on the water uptake of concrete
  • Test concrete, design and preparation
  • Inspection of damaged concrete, on-the-spot advice
  • Water repellents, water pressure resistance
  • Water resistance test
  • Thin section of concrete
  • Abrasion tests