Hardened concrete air void analysis with a flatbed scanner

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Digital images collected from a polished concrete surface with a flatbed scanner are used to quantify air void characteristics. The surface is scanned a total of three times. Between the first and second scans, the surface is stained with phenolphthalein to color the cement paste pink. Between the second and third scans, the surface is painted black, and white powder is pressed into depressions left by air voids. The images collected from the three scans are aligned and input into a classification scheme to yield an output image. Each pixel in the output image is categorized as air void, cement paste, or aggregate. By digitally applying a grid of points and a series of lines to the output image, a modified point count is automatically performed according to ASTM C457, Standard Test Method for Microscopical Determination of Parameters of the Air-Void System in Hardened Concrete. A comparison is made between results obtained by an automatic analysis of the digital output image and results obtained by a manual analysis of the surface with an optical microscope.

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Transportation Research Record