Training of technicians for physical testing of portland cement traditionally occurs on the job, with an experienced laboratory technician guiding the new tester through the ASTM procedures. To supplement this training, ACI has developed the ACI Physical Testing of Cement Training Video as a resource for new testers and a refresher for experienced testers. The video is presented in chapters based on test methods so each one can be reviewed individually. The following tests are included: ASTM C109 – Compressive Strength; ASTM C151 – Autoclave Expansion; ASTM C185 – Air Content; ASTM C187 – Normal Consistency; ASTM C191 – Vicat Time of Setting; ASTM C204 – Blaine Fineness; ASTM C266 – Gillmore Time of Setting; and ASTM C1437 – Flow of Mortar.

Additionally, there is a brief review of safety, equipment, and the laboratory environment. Each chapter reviews the equipment specific to the ASTM test, the procedure to follow the test, and the calculation of the result. Helpful tips are provided throughout to improve the technicians’ knowledge and technique.

Physical testing of cement has traditionally been a very operator-dependent process. Testing is labor-intensive, time-consuming work, and the volume of work produced is limited by the speed and capabilities of the physical tester. Properly training a physical tester is costly and can take months. This investment is critical to providing accurate and reliable test results on a consistent basis.

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