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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction About the author About the approach of this book About the arrangement of this book Chapter 2: Understanding the water-cement ratio How the Water-Cement Ratio Affects Concrete Strength Discussion How Closely Can We Determine the Water-Cement Ratio of Hardened Concrete? Court Decision on the Use of the Optical Fluorescence Microscopy Test Chapter 3: High-alumina cement Draft Standard for High-Alumina Cement: Should it Tell us How to Make Concrete? Revised Guidance on Structural Use of High-Alumina Cement. Should High-Alumina Cement be Re-Introduced into Design Codes? Discussion Chapter 4: Durability Issues Can We Determine the Age of Cracks by Measuring Carbonation? Part I Can We Determine the Age of Cracks by Measuring Carbonation? Part II The Confused World of Sulfate Attack on Concrete Sulfate in the Soil and Concrete Foundations Background to Minimising Alkali-Silica Reaction in Concrete Chapter 5: Behaviour in Service Which Way Do Cracks Run? Some Aspects of Sustainability Requirements for Residential Slabs on Grade: Part I - The ACI Approach, Part II - Uniform and International Codes Requirements for Residential Slabs on Grade Part III: Who Selects the Mix for Residential Slabs on Grade? Chapter 6: General Issues Concrete: From Mix Selection to the Finished Structure - Problems en Route Workmanship and Design Relevance of Litigation to the Structural Engineer Discussion Violation of Codes Gender in Concrete Chapter 7: An Overview Concrete: 40 years of Progress? Looking Back on Concrete in the Last Century Concrete Past and Present The Future A Farewell to Concrete Appendix Details of Original Publications Index

About the Author

Adam Neville is a Former Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee. His books have sold more than half a million copies to date and he is widely regarded as the master of this subject.


The approach of this book: In the authors' words... Of course, much can be written about recent developments in concrete and also a different approach is possible. This is why, in 2003, I published a new book under the title Neville on Concrete. That book deals with several aspects of concrete not covered, or only partially covered, previously. But that is not the main feature of Neville on Concrete. Unlike usual books on concrete, which proceed in an orderly and systematic manner from science to practice, the various sections of Neville on Concrete first look at a problem or an issue, and then discuss the underlying scientific and technological aspects. This is like looking at concrete through the wrong end of the telescope, which gives some new insights. I have followed largely the same approach in the present book, Concrete - Neville's Insights and Issues. For example, Sections 4.1 and 4.2 deal with a relation between the age of cracks in concrete and the observed depth of carbonation, a proposition advanced in an insurance case. To prove, or disprove, that relation, the relevant factors influencing the progress of carbonation are considered in detail. The proposition, which was used in litigation, is found to be erroneous. But what is important for a reader of this book is that the relevant sections in Chapter 4 take him or her through the actual pattern of carbonation and provide a scientific understanding of the phenomena involved in a manner more palatable than would be used in a classical text, which starts with the relevant chemical reactions, their kinetics, and the observed changes in the microstructure of the hydrated cement paste. Another distinguishing feature of this book is that it has been written by a sole author, so that the inconsistencies in terminology and internal contradictions are avoided. The only exceptions are Section 2.1 written jointly with P.-C. Aitcin, and Section 4.4 co-authored by Bob Tobin. I am grateful to them for agreeing to include our joint papers in "my" book. I have referred to litigation. Indeed, several sections of this book have their origin in lawsuits in which I appeared as an expert witness. Now that I no longer undertake court work, I feel free publicly to discuss topics on which I provided expert opinion. Of course, I do not identify individual cases or parties, but the lessons to be learnt are aired. The relevance of litigation to the structural engineer is the subject of Section 6.3. Alas, this is a topic of increasing importance because we live in a progressively more and more litigious society, and it behoves us to know the potential pitfalls. To say that litigation benefits no one would be incorrect because a large number of lawyers make good money out of it. The lawyers, who are advocates and not technical people, need technically competent experts. If, in addition, these experts can present well their expertise, if they can robustly resist occasional onslaught by lawyers for the opposing side because they know what they know and, if they neither vacillate nor exceed their field of competence - in other words, they know what they don't know - such experts can command high honoraria. The experts' contribution to establishing technical facts is essential, but we would all do much better without litigation. A great deal of uncertainty would be removed, money expended on lawyers' fees and experts' fees would be saved, insurance premiums for professional work and for construction in general would be lower. In the end, the cost of constructing a building would be lower, which would of course benefit the owner. This book does not deal with all aspects of concrete - indeed, it is not intended to be an encyclopedia, but rather a selected treatment of topics where I have 'hands-on' experience. For an encyclopedic presentation, I cannot resist advertising Properties of Concrete. Different people, especially in different countries, will find different parts of the book of direct interest. So, there is likely to be widespread appeal. In addition, academics with limited research experience, looking for a new research topic will find here a rich mine of topics that need further study and research. This is so because, to deal with a question posed in litigation, I could proceed only thus far. What is described here is a good starting point, or points, for research. A prime example of this situation is Section 4.3 with the unusual title of The Confused World of Sulfate Attack. Adam Neville

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