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Instrument to Determine the Water/Cement Ratio of Fresh Cementby
Richard Proce
Advisor: Dr. B. D. Huggins

The construction industry currently has no accurate method of quickly determining the water-to-cement ratio of fresh cement. This project considers the implementation of an instrument to determine this quantity quickly and accurately. This instrument is based on an open-ended coaxial resonator being operated in the microwave frequency range. The resonator's open end can be modeled as a fringing capacitance. This effective capacitance can be altered by inserting the open end into a dielectric medium, changing resonance frequencies of the device. By using a microprocessor to sweep a frequency range as well as collect data these resonant frequencies can be determined. The processor can then use the data to calculate the effective fringing capacitance and the dielectric constant of the fresh cement. There is a direct correlation between the dielectric value and the desired water-to-cement ratio. The final device will have provisions for calibration as well as the ability to self-test its hardware.

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