Concrete and related aspects
We test concrete and associated products, and analyse the performance of these materials.
BRE has extensive facilities for the casting, curing and testing of concrete both to recognised standards and to specific customer requirements. We have an enviable resource of historic test data which can be invaluable when comparing the performance of innovative materials with traditional products. Innovative materials could include both aggregates and cement replacement materials.
We also have laboratory facilities for the preparation of petrographic thin sections and their subsequent analysis using optical microscopy. The field of concrete petrography is now considered to be an integral aspect of concrete analysis, and has considerable benefits when undertaking projects relating to the performance of concrete. Petrography is particularly beneficial when there is a requirement to investigate failures or undertake diagnostic examinations when a detailed microscopic study is needed. Our petrography capability is complemented by our in-house X-Ray diffractometer, enabling precise identification of mineralogical components.
In addition to investigating the properties of the concrete itself, within our facilities we can undertake testing of associated products such as admixtures (EN 934) and products associated with the protection and repair of concrete (EN 1504).
Assessments against concrete design classes such as described in EN 206 and BS 8500 can be undertaken within our durability testing laboratories. By way of an example, we can carry out accelerated freeze-thaw testing of a product and can simultaneously expose XF class concretes that are designed to withstand particular frost environments; comparative performance can then be evaluated.