prefab concrete elements

Concrete testing laboratory

In concrete testing, Geos has often proven its expertise by way of a countless number of tests, material surveys, and services such as petrographic research on concrete.

Concrete and Concrete Products

Concrete is one of the most important areas of our activities. GEOS has proven its expertise in this industry by means of testings, material examinations, and services such as concrete petrography.

On-demand we provide complete test overviews:

  • Concrete
  • Precast concrete
  • Mortar
  • Admixtures & pigments

Concrete is a universal building material consisting of binder, fillers, sand, gravel, and water. In a lot of cases, admixtures are added to improve the fluidity of plastic concrete or to influence the hardening (faster or slower) of concrete.

The enormous success of concrete is due to its ease in making and processing: plastic concrete is transportable over long distances, and it can take almost any shape. But this does not mean concrete is an uncomplicated product. Because of the quantity of available raw materials and the complexity of the influence on each other, it is of vital importance to check whether the end product meets the desired requirements.

At GEOS your concrete can be subjected to a ton of analyses. From fluidity measurements on fresh concrete to air void contents in hardened concrete. From simple compressive strength tests to a complete durability examination. GEOS conducts tests on the following materials:

  • Concrete tubes
  • Concrete masonry units
  • Concrete paving blocks
  • (Grass) concrete tiles
  • Mixing water (for concrete)
  • Admixtures
  • Caring products


What is petrography?

Petrography literally means ‘description of rocks’. A petrographic examination can be macroscopical (visible with the naked eye) as well as microscopical. The microscopic research is conducted on polish plates that are examined by means of polarisation- and fluorescence microscopy. Petrography is applicable to aggregates, natural stones, concrete (products) and mortar.

Why and when do you make use of petrography?

When the petrographic examination is applied to concrete, it helps to evaluate the quality of concrete in a fast and advantageous way and it determines damage causes and their extent. A petrographic examination can be related to when determining the quality of hardened concrete. Different elements have an influence on the mechanical strength and durability of concrete, among others:

  • Water/cement ratio
  • Cement (type, hydration rate,…)
  • Quality of sand and aggregates
  • Carbonatation
  • Composition of the mixture
  • Correct operation of the additives

The parameters mentioned below can be evaluated by applying petrography:

  • Fire damage
  • Bad quality, ageing or weathering causes
  • Has there been a faulty execution (fast dehydration)
  • Are the required specifications fulfilled
  • Freeze damaging or chemical violation
  • Expected life durability of the construction
  • Tearing causes
  • The extent of corrosion of the armoured steel
  • Damage phenomenons (alkali-silica reaction, ettringite, freeze damaging…)
  • Presence of fly ash, high furnace slag

Next, to this, petrographic examination is able to test the alkali-silica reactivity (ASR) of aggregates. This examination often goes hand in hand with an inspection on the spot and physical and chemical tests inside the laboratory. The composition of historical building materials can also be examined as part of renovation projects.

Conclusively, a petrographic examination can help you with restoration techniques of concrete, identification of damage phenomenons or a general quality assessment of your construction material.

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