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Various international standards describe the measurement of mechanical properties for concrete during the setting process. A typical disadvantage common to test methods is low repeat accuracy.

An IP-8 system with six of eight possible channels connected. Various mold sizes are available to suit aggregate gradations.

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A display of three setting curves of standard mortar, with 50 percent (green curve) water the standard mixing ratio. The screen shows 40 percent water (red curve) results in better consistency, but is difficult to handle, while a 60 percent water factor (blue curve) leads to a significantly lower final mortal strength.
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Ultrasonic sound wave velocity measurement is a well-engineered, contemporary alternative offering a variety of advantages that result in a substantial reduction of development time and costs, according to IP-8 Ultrasonic Multiplex Tester system developers. Their eight-channel device allows setting of development visualization from mixing to 28-day strength in one measuring procedure; Young’s modulus measurement; high repeat accuracy; and, automatic data logging.

Moreover, the IP-8 enables early stage recognition of deviations by comparing current values with stored reference runs of the curve. The user can easily define admissible deviations from reference curves by creating failure envelopes. These and other evaluation tools make the device an optimal solution for quality assurance during production processes.

National Instrument’s international standard LabView software ensures intuitive handling and operation of the IP-8. The test system can visualize setting processes of any material that undergoes a setting process. Among initial IP-8 adopters is LafargeHolcim Ltd., which has deployed the systems in 20 European plants and research & development labs. — UltraTest GmbH, Achim, Germany, 49-4202-955-0873; www.ultratest.eu