Briefing: Microscopic study into biodeterioration of joint sealant

Hughes, Peter, Fairhurst, Jonathan, Sherrington, Ian orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1283-9850, Renevier, Nathalie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2471-7236, Morton, Leslie Hugh Glyn, Robery, Peter and Cunningham, Lee (2013) Briefing: Microscopic study into biodeterioration of joint sealant. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers- Construction Materials, 166 (5). pp. 265-268. ISSN 1747-650X

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This research presents an exploratory study into the biodeterioration of joint sealants used in concrete coastal structures. Monocular, inverted-light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy with an energy dispersive X-ray analyser were used to observe colonisation of site specimens, enabling the further understanding of this interaction. Algal filaments have been observed growing within the matrix of a polymer sealant. Growth has been observed tunnelling within and adhered to the surface of the sealant. This degradation mechanism will weaken the material bond as a direct result of the physical activity of an organism, resulting from its growth. Loss of material, either through biodeterioration or through other mechanical means, such as tidal action, is not the primary cause of degradation, but it should be considered with associated environmental conditions, to exacerbate the condition.

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