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E. An Easier Way To Test Concrete

Narrator: This is Science Today. Detecting flaws and failure in concrete structures and highways is obviously a crucial procedure. Today, diagnostic tests require using radioactive compounds and must be viewed under a black light. But researcher Bill Carey at the Los Alamos National Laboratory has developed an environmentally friendly test which can be completed in minutes without any special viewing techniques.

Carey: We've developed these stains that are chemically specific and work in normal visible light. We have two stains - one's a yellow stain and then we used a pink stain.

Narrator: These stains recognize and highlight specific gels that form within concrete and lead to cracks.

Carey: Our next stage is really to put together a kit which will consist of the stains, a booklet explaining how they work So it will be sort of a real hands-on kit that highway people and construction people can put into practice without having to do any real significant training at all, just read through this, look at the samples and compare their results to the kit.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.