Crystallized alkali-silica gel in concrete from the late 1890s

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The Elon Farnsworth Battery, a concrete structure completed in 1898, is in an advanced state of disrepair. To investigate the potential for rehabilitation, cores were extracted from the battery. Petrographic examination revealed abundant deposits of alkali silica reaction products in cracks associated with the quartz rich metasedimentary coarse aggregate. The products of the alkali silica reaction are variable in composition and morphology, including both amorphous and crystalline phases. The crystalline alkali silica reaction products are characterized by quantitative X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry (EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The broad extent of the reactivity is likely due to elevated alkali levels in the cements used. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Cement and Concrete Research