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Concrete In Australia : June 2008
and how well it is mixed. If the DatatraceDNA tracer is added only with the cement portion of the concrete, then we can also analyse the proportion of the concrete that is cement. Moreover, because the DatatraceDNA tracers are extremely robust and long-lived, this information remains embedded in the concrete sample for at least 25 years. This allows retrospective identifi cation and analysis of the concrete sample. There is a lower limit beyond which the current model Authenticator cannot be used. This is indicated in the graph with the line marked “average noise level”. Signals with intensity below this line cannot be reliably measured in the fi eld. Typically we would not measure less than 2.5 ppm of a DatatraceDNA tracer using the hand-held Authenticator. In such cases, sophisticated laboratory instrumentation is available that can detect and measure the tracers down to one ppm, or one gram of tracer per tonne of concrete. Such measurements cannot be done instantaneously in the field. Concrete samples must instead be shipped to a specialised laboratory and tested over several days. Product development plans for the Authenticator will deliver improved sensitivity during the latter part of 2008 and early 2009. Cost of the technology The current cost of the technology will depend on the volumes of production and how many tracers are concurrently MEMBERSHIP & TECHNICAL SURVEY Survey outcomes to influence technical activities In this article, Concrete Institute of Australia CEO Ian Booth examines some of the outcomes from the Institute’s recent national membership and technical survey. Earlier in 2008 the Concrete Institute conducted a survey amongst members and the wider industry which sought opinions primarily on the technical issues which they felt were Topic Area Bridges Cements Design Environment Grouting Marine Structures Materials Pavements Repairs most important for the Institute to pursue. Table 1. Ranking by respondents from industry sectors of topic areas as important or extremly important (1=high; 9=low). 5 4 1 6 8 6 2 9 3 6 2 3 8 9 5 1 7 4 The following details the analysis of the 250 survey responses and poses questions about the directions the Institute should pursue in educational programs, technical publishing and the type of content that should appear in Concrete in Australia magazine. Consulting Construction Materials Academia 6 5 1 7 9 4 2 7 3 7 7 1 4 9 5 2 6 3 The technical issues This section of the survey was designed to identify views on technical and information needs in the area of concrete technology – in particular, activities the Institute may need to investigate further through targeted research forums and/or workshops with other likeminded bodies. Design and materials issues were considered by respondents from the consulting, construction and academic sectors as the technical topics of greatest concern. For the materials sector, the issues of materials and cements were most important, followed by design issues. From the table 1, respondents were asked to select three topic areas that they ranked as either Concrete in Australia Vol 34 No 2 19 deployed. In high volumes, the DatatraceDNA technology will retail from $US 0.65 for trace powder using a single tracer per tonne of concrete marked. The Authenticator retails for $US 5995. The surfactant- stabilised liquid form of DatatraceDNA will vary depending on the nature of the host admixture. Summary The DatatraceDNA system for concrete offers a new level of quality control for the concrete industry not previously available. It allows for the permanent embedding within concrete, of indicators of the origin, homogeneity and approximate proportion of cement. These indicators are legally admissible and persist for many years. Dr Gerry Swiegers is VP Strategic Research at DatatraceDNA Pty Limited, a joint venture company formed in 2005 by Datadot Technology Ltd (see www.datadotdna.com) and CSIRO (see www.csiro.au). Swiegers was previously with the Security Devices research group at CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies. This group works closely with governmental and private con- cerns in the product, document, and identity security areas. He completed a PhD in chemistry at the University of Connecticut. Following academic appointments at the Australian National University and the University of Wollongong, he joined CSIRO as a research scientist in 1998. For more information contact: Gerry Swiegers, VP Research & Development +61 414 338 634, firstname.lastname@example.org.