Assessment of Gamma Radiation on the Properties of Concrete

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Chemistry


This project focuses on the effect of gamma radiation on the structural properties of concrete in order to determine its useful lifespan. This information is vital for the nuclear industry and will potentially extend the operating life of many nuclear installations. The project involves the accelerated ageing of freshly prepared concrete and comparison to historic samples taken from Sellafield Site. Techniques such as SEM, XRD, IR/Raman microscopy and compressive strength testing will be used. In addition, environmental effects will be distinguished from radiation effects.


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Leay L (2018) Geopolymers from fly ash and their gamma irradiation in Materials Letters

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/P510579/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2021
1834520 Studentship EP/P510579/1 07/09/2016 29/09/2020 Alexander Potts
Description Previously cements subject to simultanous gamma irraidation and atmospheric carbonation (reaction of CO2 in atmospher with the cement) showed a greater amount of carbonation ingress in the cement. This research has shown this also occurs when the carbonation occurs directly after the irradiation. This shows that the mechanism behind this doesn't need the processes to be coupled, and supports cement dehydration as the cause, which is the main hypothesis in the literature. Comparison with existing research shows that cements with a fly-ash addition shows a similar but inverse reaction to a solely cement sample, in the way the carbonation phase is formed.
Exploitation Route Fully understanding why carbonation forms differently whilst exposed to gamma irradiation. Seeing if the same phenoma applies to alpha or neutron radiation.
Sectors Energy