Material for Building & Civil Engineering

Scanning electron microscopy has been an essential analytical technique for studying a variety of construction materials.
SEM imaging can assist in identifying damage in building materials such as corrosion, structure failures and other damage caused by environmental conditions. Civil engineering is a discipline which deals with the design, construction and maintenance of physical and naturally built environments such as roads, bridges, canals, dams and buildings. The type of materials used in construction can be classified into two classes: natural materials (wood, clay, stone and sand) and manufactured materials such as concrete, bricks, plasterboards, mineral wool, metals, composites, plastics, etc.
  • SEM used in combination with BSE and EDX detectors help researchers identify details in the chemical composition of concrete mixes, sands and other granular materials.
  • UniVac option with a Water Vapour Inlet can be used to observe crystallisation or melting processes in real time directly in the SEM chamber.

  • Dual beam FIB-SEM system can reveal valuable information of the subsurface of materials as well as create 3D visualisations of such materials.
  • The combination of 3D EDX and TOF-SIMS techniques facilitates a full compositional analysis of these types of materials.

Material for Building & Civil Engineering
Structure of cement

Related Application Notes

Analysis of Self-Compacting Concrete
SEM helps scientists and technologists study different kinds of morphological changes in materials during their compaction such as ettringite formation. Practical information on the chemical composition of concrete as well as phases created during dehydration processes can be investigated with a SEM system equipped with an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS). The available low vacuum mode allows the study of sample of concrete in their natural state without the need of coating the sample, thus eliminating possible sources of interference in analysis.
pdf – 2.6 MB
SEM in the Cement Industry
A scanning electron microscope (SEM), equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray (EDS) detector, is an effective instrument for in-depth analysis of various materials. The combination of SEM with EDS microanalysis is particularly used in the construction industry for quality control and verification of material composition. Samples of cement and cement additives (powdered gypsum and fly ash), from Israel’s sole cement producer, were examined by using the powerful VEGA3 SEM with a lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) electron source. Compared to a heated tungsten (W) filament, LaB6 provides higher resolution and brightness and longer lifetime. The chemical composition of a fly ash particle and the element distribution over the sample surface was determined by EDS.
pdf – 1.6 MB

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