Laboratory Testing

Research Paper: test methods for sulphur minerals

Test Methods for Sulphur-Species

Mourice Czerewko (AECOM), Ian Longworth (BRE), Murray Reid (TRL) and John Cripps (University of Sheffield) have published a paper on the terminology and test methods for sulphur minerals.

The paper, titled “Standardized terminology and test methods for sulphur mineral phases for the assessment of construction materials and aggressive ground” follows recent publications on sulphur-species by the authors:

Czerewko, M.A., and Cross, S.A. (2015). Benefits of a granular construction interface in highway construction over pyritic subgrades for mitigating against deleterious ground effects. Proceedings of the XVI ECSMGE Geotechnical Engineering for Infrastructure and Development.… Read the rest

Technical Note: What is total potential sulfate?

Definition and Background

Total Potential Sulfate (TPS) represents the chemical equivalent of the maximum sulfate that could be theoretically generated if all sulfur within a sample of a geological material (e.g., soil, rock, aggregate etc.) was to oxidise.

TPS is determined as part of the assessment of sulfur-species, in combination with determination of water-soluble sulfate, acid-soluble sulfate and total sulfur. This conversion has been used since at least the late 1970s (e.g., Nixon 1978, Wilson 1987) and is now found in most UK guidance, having been formalised in BR 279 (Bowley 1995) and used in the M5 motorway thaumasite investigations (TEG 1999).… Read the rest

Research Paper: Identification of pyrite induced heave

Pyrite Induced Heave

Taylor, Cripps and Clarke (University of Sheffield) have published a paper on the identification of pyrite induced heave using chemical and structural assessments. The authors consider the use of chemical and structural assessments to determine whether pyritic heave caused structural damage in a number of case studies.

The paper, titled “The identification of pyrite induced foundation heave by chemical and structural assessments” follows prior research on the in-situ investigation of pyritic fill by the authors:

Taylor, A.J., Cripps, J.C., and Clarke, S.D. (2015). The effect of temperature and moisture content on the behaviour of pyritic fill: development of an in situ monitoring system.… Read the rest

BS 5930:2015: new guidance on sulfur-species

BS 5930:2015

On 31 July 2015, BS 5930:2015 “Code of practice for ground investigations” was published, replacing the former standard, BS 5930:1999+A2:2010 (Code of practice for site investigations). The BSI website states that:

“BS 5930:2015 deals with the investigation of sites in order to assess their suitability for construction and to identify the characteristics of a site that affect the design and construction of the project.  It also considers related issues including the environment and the security of adjacent land and property.”

“This is a full revision of the standard and introduces some principal changes…” [including] “…Compliance with BS EN 1997-1 and BS EN 1997-2 and related test standards…” [and] “…New information on geophysical surveying and ground testing and updated guidance on desk studies, field reconnaissance, ground investigations on contaminated ground and ground affected by voids.”

Guidance on sulfur-species

BS 5930:2015 provides considerable additional guidance on the presence and assessment of sulfur-species in geological materials compared to the 1999 version.… Read the rest

Guest post: Pyrite oxidation in roofing slates by Víctor Cárdenes Van den Eynde

The first guest post on comes from Dr. Víctor Cárdenes Van den Eynde. Victor started his career in the slate industry of Galicia (Spain), later moving to the Slate Technology Center Foundation (Galician Association of Slate Producers). There, he developed various methods of inhibiting oxidation of iron sulfides in roofing slates.

He later moved to the University of Oviedo, working as a reseacher and completing a Masters in Geological and Geotechnical Resources in 2010 and a PhD in roofing slate in 2012. He currently researches the petrophysics and weathering of building materials. Further information about Victor’s research and publications can be found at the end of this post.… Read the rest