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Application of Nanoindentation and 2D and 3D Imaging to Characterise Selected Features of the Internal Microstructure of Spun Concrete

Faculty of Civil Engineering, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, 50-370 Wrocław, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(7), 1016;
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-destructive Testing of Materials in Civil Engineering)


The spinning of concrete is a process in which concrete mixture is moulded and compacted under the action of the centrifugal force arising during the fast rotational motion of the mould around its longitudinal axis. As a result of the spinning of the liquid concrete mixture, an element annular in cross section, characterised by an inhomogeneous layered wall structure, is produced. The heavier constituents tend towards the cross-section wall’s outer side, while the lighter components tend towards its inner side. The way in which the particular constituents are distributed in the element’s cross section is of key importance for the macro properties of the manufactured product. This paper presents procedures for investigating spun concrete and interpreting the results of such investigations, which make it possible to characterise the microstructure of the concrete. Three investigative methods were used to assess the distribution of the constituents in the cross section of the element: micro-computed tomography (µCT), 2D imaging (using an optical scanner) and nanoindentation. A procedure for interpreting and analysing the results is proposed. The procedure enables one to quantitatively characterise the following features of the microstructure of spun concrete: the mechanical parameters of the mortar, the aggregate content, the pore content, the cement paste content, the aggregate grading and the size (dimensions) of the pores. Special attention is devoted to the determination of the variation of the analysed quantities in the cross section of the element. The result of the application of the investigative procedures is presented for an exemplary spun concrete element. The proposed procedures constitute a valuable tool for evaluating the process of manufacturing spun concrete elements. View Full-Text
Keywords: spun concrete; micro-computed tomography; nanoindentation; deconvolution; mathematical morphology spun concrete; micro-computed tomography; nanoindentation; deconvolution; mathematical morphology

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Michałek, J.; Pachnicz, M.; Sobótka, M. Application of Nanoindentation and 2D and 3D Imaging to Characterise Selected Features of the Internal Microstructure of Spun Concrete. Materials 2019, 12, 1016.

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