We are able to forensically analyze material samples and compare them to our library of over 1,500 thin-section samples, each sample allowing for a visual representation of known potential problems or structurally sound conditions. Using stereomicroscopy and reflected/transmitted polarized-light microscopy, our team of petrographers observe the microstructure and compositional characteristics of a material. In doing so, we are able to characterize and describe the potential deleterious materials within the sample or detail if none are present. Petrographic observations include alkali-silica reaction and expansion, cracking and expansion due to freeze/thaw issues, characterize the capillary porosity and cement paste microstructure, and as well as identify other possible distresses.
In addition to petrographic examination, our petrographic laboratory utilizes hardened air void contents, water-soluble chlorides, and aggregate composition to determine potential issues with the material. We work with contractors, state agencies, and owners to identify potential issues with materials used and provide them with detailed reports, often used in deciding a path to resolution.