Concrete Phoenix System determines the water-to-cementitious material ratio (w/cm) of fresh concrete quickly and accurately in the lab or field. The water-cement ratio is a proven predictor of concrete strength, workability, permeability, and durability but is difficult to measure accurately, especially when unrecorded mix water is present.
Older dry-back methods using microwave furnaces are labor intensive, take longer, and can only assure w/cm accuracy to ±0.3–0.5. The Phoenix furnace processes a fresh concrete sample in 12–18 minutes and produces a w/cm measurement accurate to ±0.01.
The state of Minnesota is considering adopting “Measuring the Water Content in Fresh Concrete by Rapid Evaporation” using the Phoenix System. The method requires a sample of fresh concrete to be consolidated into a 100in³ (1,642cm³) mold and weighed to determine unit weight. The entire mold contents are transferred to the sample pan, weighed again, then placed in the furnace, and heated for approximately 15 minutes. Once the test cycle is complete, the sample is removed from the furnace and placed on the balance’s protective firebrick weighing platform to determine the total water loss. Concrete batch weights, testing data, and before and after ignition sample weights are entered into the Phoenix App. Water-cement ratio (w/cm) results are automatically calculated and stored in memory.
The unique design, operation, and control of the Phoenix Furnace generate fast and accurate w/cm test results with performance that ordinary muffle furnaces cannot duplicate. The programmable controller precisely regulates temperature and times to remove all available water with no loss of solid mass or damage to the aggregates. Hold times and set point temperatures can be adjusted during firing.
Carefully calculated chamber dimensions, special thermal materials, and concentration of the heating elements provide rapid, controlled ramp-ups to operating temperature, minimizing the need for a thermal soaking period. Dimensions of the sample pan are matched to the chamber size and thermal performance of the furnace for optimum heating and minimal specimen damage.
The Phoenix Furnace features heavy, galvanized welded steel construction. A guillotine-style chamber lift door operates with one hand and minimizes exposure to hot surfaces. The long-lasting elements are embedded in dense ceramic fiber insulation to avoid damage during operation. A safety switch cuts power to the heating elements when the door is open, and thermocouple protection prevents overheating. An integrated exhaust fan removes hot gasses from the chamber and assists with temperature uniformity.
The Concrete Phoenix System is supplied as a complete testing system. The system includes a smartphone preloaded with the Phoenix App, a 100in³ (1,642cm³) sample mold assembly with filling cover and strike-off plate, a tamping rod, a sample spatula, two sample pans each with a cover and strap, balance with protective firebrick weighing platform, sample loading fork, and a sample pan safety/cooling cover. Also includes personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety gear. All included accessories are also available for purchase separately, as needed. Additional sample pans and mold assemblies are suggested to expedite testing efficiency.
The Phoenix Furnace operates on 240V, 50/60Hz, 15 amp, 1-phase electrical supply and is supplied with a NEMA L6-20P Cord Set.
- Accurate water-cement ratio determinations in 15 minutes
- Ensures concrete mix design quality
- Improves productivity by creating a consistent concrete mix
- Ensures the slump, strength, and durability are correct before placement
- The moisture content of aggregate determined in 5 minutes
- The self-guided Phoenix app is easy-to-use to properly run the test and calculates results
- Concrete Phoenix System
- Phoenix Furnace
- Smartphone with Phoenix app preloaded
- Sample Mold Assembly
- (2) Sample pans with cover and strap
- Sample pan safety/cooling cover
- Protective firebrick weighing platform
- Tamping rod
- Sample spatula
- Loading fork
- Heat Resistant Gloves
- Safety Glasses
- Flame Retardant Blanket
- Fire Extinguisher
- NEMA L6-20P Cord Set
- CTA-200 Steel Sample Mold with Base is 100in³ (1,642cm³) and specifically designed to work with the Phoenix to produce a sample that is equivalent to a standard 4x8in (102x203mm)
- CTA-203 Mold Filling Cover has a 6.375in (162mm) diameter hole with an O-Ring to allow placement level with the top of the Sample Mold
- CTA-204 Mold Strike-Off Plate ensures the concrete sample's surface is smooth and volume is accurate after the mold has been filled and consolidated
- CTA-202 Sample Pan with Cover and Strap is sized to accommodate the sample from the Sample Mold
- CTA-201 Sample Pan Safety/Cooling Cover is used to protect users during the cooldown process by resting over the top of the sample and pan
- CP-25 Adam Cruiser Bench Scale is compact and versatile, has a 16,000g capacity, 0.1g readability, and an 8.3 x 11.8in (210 x 300mm) WxD stainless steel weighing platform
- CTA-208 Protective Firebrick Weighing Platform is placed over the top of the balance and protects electronics from the hot sample and pan after it is removed from the furnace
- HM-47 Tamping Rod is 12in long with a 3/8in diameter and constructed of stainless steel, used for
- CTA-207 Sample Spatula made of heat-resistant, BPA-free silicone with a nylon core, used for scraping concrete from the Sample Mold
- CTA-205 Loading Fork is two-pronged and constructed of steel, designed for picking up the Sample Pan.
- SE-33 Heat Resistant Gloves are made of genuine suede leather and protect the user's hands from thermal heat up to 200°C (392°F)
- SE-28 Safety Glasses
- CTA-209 Flame Retardant Blanket is made of black carbonized felt and resistant to sparks, spatter, and slag.
- CTA-206 Fire Extinguisher a multipurpose dry chemical extinguisher filled with ABC dry chemical
- CTA-211 Field Kit allows appropriate connection of furnace to a user-supplied portable generator, includes carrying case, draft shield, and plug adapter