For sure Cc. We are here to learn! No matter how long we have been in the trade!
I like to think that by storing the drilled dust, over the drying period it will acclimatize allowing an accurate carbide test without any heat distortion. You're right, there is a carbide test for soil BUT it is also designed for and is a great tool for moisture testing concrete. (Germany rely on it as the test method directed by the European DIN Standard).
Regarding specific humidity (SH), I must admit that makers / clients do not require SH measurements, but I do them purely because I want data and i'm trying to ascertain if this is more accurate. Data is King! Also the SH of concrete should be in equilibrium with the air. if it is not, it could be considered wet. I have been working with partners in manufacturing a new type of Dehum (http://www.speedry.com
) and the machine interacts with infra red sensors placed in floors and walls, calculating SH and drying to levels set by the operator, So far, we have some pretty impressive results and the UK industry has endorsed the product by buying 150 units @ about $8000 each since launch 8 months ago. When we exhibited it at the RIA show a few weeks ago, the booth was mobbed!
Also, one of your chaps has patented ERP - evaporation rate potential formulae which mat have an impact on drying conditions / times.
Here in the UK we do not as a rule use MVER / Calcium chloride test as a method to rely on. (not saying no one is using it).
I believe the Wagner test to be a simple but good device allowing the user to derive the needed information and if needed, calculate the specific humidity.
Can I get a distribution agreement for the UK??? (I sit on the British Standards Committee putting together the PAS 64 and am well connected) The sensor is ideal for the damage mitigation industry (drying) where validation of drying is becoming critical as well as the flooring industry where many tend to just place in a simple Balls humidity box with temp /rh dials displayed. (these boxes often get knocked around).
You also importantly mentioned defects which must always be a consideration to be ruled out by the professional - with good monitoring techniques in particular!
Still, my initial question however is not answered - and i must say that i did not think (but I did secretly hope) that anyone would come up with the answer! (no offence meant cc). I'd be interested to learn of your thoughts once you had used a carbide tester or tried the SH route.
So, can anyone throw some light on the original question?