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Allen Face has been writing articles for the industries informational resource Concrete Construction since 1982. Please visit their website to browse through his articles as well as a trove of other useful information.

For your convenience, we have provided a summary and links to several of his articles here for you as well.

 

Grade Basics (Floors)

Published Sept 2, 2010

Updates
They're called slabs on grade. They're composed of two equally important elements, each with a distinctly different function. But when it comes to floors, the slab part—being what the owner is left to see—invariably draws much more attention than the grade part hidden below. This imbalance of interest has always caused problems for the flooring industry, because:

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Archimedes' Principal, Part I

Published Oct 4, 2010

Updates
Because my degree is in naval architecture and marine engineering, things that float interest me. Though it may seem incongruous, this nautical background actually has come in quite handy when it comes to envisioning slab-on-grade behavior, because essentially:

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Archimedes' Principal, Part II

Published Nov 3, 2010

Updates
The Grade Support Disk is the imaginary circular plane inside the curled slab corresponding to the slab's intersection with the grade's original surface. Absent any live loads, the Grade Support Disk is concentric with the slab's centroid and equates to the imaginary top surface of the displaced grade volume.

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That Pesky Moisture Gradient, Part 1

Published Dec 2, 2010

Updates
Ideally, it should only take about 3 gallons of water to hydrate a sack of cement. To obtain adequate workability, however, a mix design must typically employ between 5 to 6 gallons of water per sack—even when a water reducer is used. Strictly in chemical terms, therefore, every slab mix is always going to contain somewhere between 67% and 100% too much water. The necessary inclusion of this additional water of convenience has enormous consequences. Indeed, it is the root cause of all of the “Big Three” slab performance problems: cracking, curling, and delamination.

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That Pesky Moisture Gradient, Part 2

Published Dec 16, 2010

Updates
Although the raw cement particles contain four different molecules eager to combine with water, only tricalcium and dicalcium silicates (C3S and C2S) precipitate into the crystals of calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) that form the magic glue around which our professional lives revolve.

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