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Assessment of Concrete Durability in Buildings: the Effects of the Quality of Cements Available in Lagos, Nigeria

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This paper presents an investigative research that aims to find the effects of the cements available in Lagos, Nigeria on the durability of concrete within the study area. This is in an attempt to stem the rate of building failures in Lagos, Nigeria. The physical, the mechanical and the microstructural properties of the cements have been determined and compared with the standard properties as specified in relevant standards. 150mm cubes have been cast with these cements and all the sources of aggregates within the study area. Laboratory findings have discovered that all the cements investigated have fallen short of the expected strengths specified in standards but the labelled brands had values close to the strength standards but the unlabeled ones have fallen far short of the standard strength. The chemical analysis has complied with standard requirements except for their loss on ignition (LOI) values and the chemical properties have been complemented by the microstructural morphology as determined with the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) though the unlabeled brands have tendencies for alkali silica reactivity due to higher levels of alkali present in them. In assessing their performance in concrete, the concrete cube strength has met the expected 20MPa except for the unlabeled brands that have fallen a little short of it. The effects of these cements have been discovered to be very significant on the concrete durability within the study area. It is thereby recommended that the Nigerian regulatory agencies on cements make more efforts in order to ensure that cement manufacturers in Nigeria improve the quality of their cement brands in order to standard strength specification. All cements should be temporarily used as a 32.5 strength class, despising the labelled 42.5, pending when the manufacturers would fully comply their products to standard.
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Cement; Reinforced Concrete; Concrete Strength; Concrete Durability and Cement Strength-Class

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