pH of Cement for Floor Installation Testing

LAQUAtwin is a series of pocket ION meters. Using Ion Selective Electrode (ISE) technology, they are available for measuring Conductivity, Calcium, Nitrate, Potassium, Sodium, Salt concentration and pH measurement. Using just a tiny amount of sample, the LAQUAtwin proprietary flat sensors can quickly and accurately measure the values of the chemical parameters in the field.

Introduction

When flooring tiles are installed, it is very important that the subfloor level has a certain pH level. When the alkalinity in a concrete subfloor is high, it can stop the floor covering adhesive from bonding properly to the concrete. This is a problem that has only recently been discovered and the new Australian Standard for resilient flooring installation (AS 1884-2012) now says that a pH test must be carried out on a concrete subfloor as part of the pre-installation assessment.

Fresh concrete is usually very alkaline, above pH 11. AS 1884 states ‘the pH level of the concrete surface should be between 9 and 10’ before the flooring can be installed.1

In order to determine the pH level, and hence consider whether floor installation can be commenced, the Horiba LAQUAtwin pH meter can be used.

The Horiba  LAQUAtwin pH meter is used to determine  the pH of the cement to prepare for floor installations. This is an easy and quick method used to  ensure that the cement is at the optimum pH.

 

Method

Sand a small section of the concrete surface with 200 grit sandpaper and remove dust.

Put several drops of distilled or ‘de-ionised’ water onto the prepared surface.

Leave the drops for 60 seconds and then extract the water droplets using a pipette.

The solution is placed on the sensor of the LAQUAtwin pH meter and measured. To repeat sampling, wash the sensor with tap  water and pat dry with a paper tissue. 


Results and Benefits

The use of the Horiba LAQUAtwin pH meter to ensure a pH of between 9 and 10 in concrete will allow the floor-covering adhesive to bond properly to the concrete. The use of the Horiba pH Meter as opposed to using pH test strips enables the determination of accurate and reliable results.
 
The LAQUAtwin pH meter is small and compact; convenient to carry around in your pocket for easy on-site testing. Its easy-to-use interface is simple for anyone to use the LAQUAtwin hand held pH meter.

1 Australain Standard AS 1884-2012 Standard report
2 Alkali-Silica Reaction, United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration Publication Number FHWA-RD-03-047 July 2003

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