Abrasion resistance of concrete
This thesis describes an experimental study of the abrasion resistance of concrete at both the macro and micro levels. This is preceded by a review related to friction and wear, methods of test for assessing abrasion resistance, and factors influencing the abrasion resistance of concrete. A versatile test apparatus was developed to assess the abrasion resistance of concrete. This could be operated in three modes and a standardised procedure was established for all tests. A laboratory programme was undertaken to investigate the influence, on abrasion resistance, of three major factors - finishing techniques, curing regimes and surface treatments. The results clearly show that abrasion resistance was significantly affected by these factors, and tentative mechanisms were postulated to explain these observations. To substantiate these mechanisms, the concrete specimens from the macro-study were subjected to micro-structural investigation, using such techniques as 'Mercury Intrusion Forosimetry, Microhardness, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Petrography and Differential Thermal Analysis. The results of this programme clearly demonstrated that the abrasion resistance of concrete is primarily dependent on the microstructure of the concrete nearest to the surface. The viability of indirectly assessing the abrasion resistance was investigated using three non-destructive techniques - Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity, Schmidt Rebound Hardness, and the Initial Surface Absorption Test. The Initial Surface Absorption was found to be most sensitive to factors which were shown to have influenced the abrasion resistance of concrete. An extensive field investigation was also undertaken. The results were used to compare site and laboratorypractices, and the performance in the accelerated abrasion test with the service wear. From this study, criteria were developed for assessing the quality of concrete floor slabs in terms of abrasion resistance.