New equipment for quality classification of construction materials


As part of the preparations for erecting the National Disposal Facility for low- and intermediate level radioactive waste (NDF), specialised laboratory equipment for quality classification of construction materials was delivered on the Radiana Site. Its purpose is to perform accurate tests during the erection of different structures in order to guarantee that the materials used and the result of the material produced are in compliance with particular requirements of the European and worldwide standards i.e. the quality of all materials used is demonstrated. This kind of studies is applicable to all types of construction activities.
The equipment delivered to the NDF is designed primarily for testing of soil samples and cement strengthened soil samples, by using a press in this case, on which small musters of the materials used are qualitatively classified. The kit contains also mixer for mixing and preparation of samples; automated hammer for compacting soil samples before to be placed on the press for testing as well as various   tools for taking of samples from different places in the area. The laboratory complex includes also a special large freezer in which different cycles of frosting and defrosting are performed in order to evaluate the used cement in simulated natural conditions (summer, winter). The technology for quality grading of the materials requires also various aging periods for the prepared samples prior the testing for which reason the equipment contains also a chamber specialised for this purpose.
The quality grading of the materials requires a team of at least 4-5 people. For this type of testing is important to know that the preparation of the materials is very labor intensive and it requires physical strength, especially when working with the mobile sampling devices used to evaluate the quality of the reinforced ground. SERAW specialists have already passed the first phase of training and the final phase will take place in the second half of September 2015.
The equipment is manufactured by industry leading Italian and British companies and it is completed particularly for the specifics in the construction of the future repository. The permanent control both during the erection and later – during the operation in order to monitor the change of materials, will ensure the safety of the NDF.