Skip to main content

Transforming Concrete Research with Qualitest-Schleibinger Viskomat XL at the University of Arkansas

Qualitest, a leading global supplier of testing technologies, in collaboration with Schleibinger, recently partnered with the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, United States, to provide innovative testing solutions for their concrete research projects.

With the aim of advancing and refining the process of 3D printing concrete for infrastructure applications, the researchers at the University of Arkansas required an efficient, reliable, and customizable solution for testing materials with larger particle sizes.

The Challenge

The research group at the University of Arkansas aimed to 3D print concrete for smaller infrastructure items such as culverts and jersey barriers using their robotic printer. Their objective was to investigate the effect of larger aggregate particle sizes on the printing process.

They needed a reliable and accurate testing solution to analyze the rheological properties of their concrete mixtures with aggregate sizes up to 20mm. This presented a challenge, as most existing rheometers could not accommodate such large particle sizes. Additionally, the team required a high level of precision and control to ensure accurate and relevant data.

Viskomat XL: The Qualitest’s Solution

Qualitest provided the University of Arkansas with the Viskomat XL, a versatile and powerful rheometer designed specifically for testing mortar and fresh concrete with larger particle sizes. The Viskomat XL comes up with a maximum aggregate size of up to 20mm (depending on aggregate shape), exceeding the university's requirements. 

This cutting-edge technology, with its vast array of features and customizable settings, proved to be the ideal solution for the University of Arkansas' research projects. This rheometer also bridged the gap between traditional mortar testing equipment and large-scale concrete rheometers, so it is perfect for the challenge faced by the University of Arkansas.

Key Features and Advantages of the Viskomat XL

The Viskomat XL offered several notable features and advantages that supported the university's research objectives:

1. Dynamic Speed Range

The Viskomat XL offers a wide range of motor speeds, from 0.001 to 80 rpm, in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions. This flexibility allowed the researchers to test the concrete's rheological properties under various conditions.

2. High Torque Range

With a torque range from 0 to 1000 Ncm and exceptional accuracy, the Viskomat XL provided accurate measurements of the concrete's viscosity and flow characteristics. The researchers could assess the impact of different aggregate sizes on the material's behavior during the printing process.

3. Temperature Control

The instrument incorporated a double-wall specimen container with temperature control capabilities. This feature ensured that the concrete samples remained at the desired temperature throughout the testing, allowing for accurate rheological analysis under consistent conditions.

4. High Time Resolution

The Viskomat XL's high-resolution sampling rate, ranging from 0.005s to 1min, enabled the researchers to capture precise and detailed data.

5. Shear Stress Control  and Oscillation Modes

The Viskomat XL offered the option to run shear stress-controlled tests, allowing the researchers to preset the torque over time and automatically adjust the rotational speed. Additionally, the oscillation mode provided valuable information about the material's elastic and plastic properties.

Result and Implementation

Implementation & Result - Positive Impact After Choose Qualitest’s Viskomat XL

The University of Arkansas Department of Civil Engineering has greatly benefited from the implementation of the Viskomat XL in their research projects. This partnership has enabled the researchers to study the rheological properties of concrete mixed with larger aggregate sizes, ultimately contributing to the advancement of 3D printing technology in the field of infrastructure.

With the Viskomat XL, the researchers were able to gain valuable insights into the behavior of their concrete mixtures with large aggregate sizes. The instrument's high torque range and advanced temperature control features allowed them to simulate the printing process and analyze the effects of different aggregate sizes on the concrete's rheological properties.

The Benefits

The University of Arkansas Department of Civil Engineering benefited from the Viskomat XL's advanced capabilities, including:

  • Accurate measurement of rheological properties, enabling the researchers to optimize their concrete mixtures for 3D printing
  • Increased understanding of the effects of large aggregate sizes on the printing process, allowing for improved print quality and reliability
  • Enhanced research capabilities, enabling the team to explore new possibilities in 3D printed concrete infrastructure

Conclusion

Qualitest takes pride in supporting research institutions like the University of Arkansas Department of Civil Engineering in their pursuit of scientific advancement. By providing tailored solutions and state-of-the-art testing equipment such as the Viskomat XL Rheometer, we enable researchers to overcome challenges, unlock new possibilities, and make remarkable strides in their respective fields.

To learn more about the Viskomat XL and Qualitest's extensive range of testing technologies, please visit our website.