Chemistry


Sandberg offers a comprehensive range of cement testing encompassing both physical and chemical cement testing utilising BS, EN and ASTM methods. Due to our independence cement testing can be carried out as part of routine quality control for cement manufacturers or as part of a materials failure investigation.


Sandberg carries out a complete range of chemical testing on a wide variety of materials associated with the built environment. All chemical testing is carried out by Sandberg’s experienced technical staff operating from our well equipped UKAS accredited Laboratories. Chemical testing can be carried out using BS, EN and ASTM standards supplemented by our own UKAS accredited documented in-house methods.


Chloride can be present in the concrete either as added calcium chloride used to accelerate the setting time of the concrete or as a contaminant of the aggregate. Chloride testing is mainly carried out on reinforced concrete using test methods given in BS 1881.


Efflorescence is caused by soluble salts in building materials, or soluble salts transferred into building materials by water, being drawn towards a drying surface by the movement of water. Efflorescence can often result in damage caused by salt crystallisation leading to the breakdown of mortars and renders.


Chemical analysis of hardened concrete can provide a wealth of information about the mix constituents and possible causes of deterioration. Standard methods can be used to find the cement content and original water/cement ratio, but many other properties can also be established.


Infrared spectroscopy is a technique that can be used mainly qualitatively but occasionally quantitatively for identification of organic (and sometimes inorganic) substances. Each organic compound whether it be a simple compound, polymer or adhesive produces a characteristic spectrum when a beam of radiation from the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum is passed through it.


Lead is added to paint to speed drying, increase durability, retain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture, which can cause corrosion and failure of unprotected materials. However, its interaction with the human body has given rise to its use being banned in the UK since 1978.


Mortar testing, in the case of modern mortars, may be required to establish compliance with a specification or as part of a failure investigation and can also highlight any deleterious materials such as sulfates, which can attack cement binders, causing cracking and eventual mortar failure.


Sandberg can undertake the testing of Salt for spreading on highways for winter maintenance  using the methods given in British Standard BS 3247:2011 incorporating Corrigendum No.1 and hold a UKAS accreditation to undertake the salt analysis.


Sandberg offers a comprehensive range of screed analysis encompassing both physical and chemical cement testing utilising BS and EN methods. Our experienced staff can undertake site investigations and sampling...


Chemical analysis can establish the composition of a leakage water sample at the time it was sampled, but it is possible that the chemical composition of the water sample could have been altered by contact with the ground or general building materials making it harder to determine the exact composition of the source water.

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Neil Sandberg
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