[Univ of Cambridge] [Dept of Engineering]

Water flow into unsaturated concrete

 L.B.B. Peer


Physical and diffusion theories, used to describe fluid flow into dry and partially saturated porous media, are applied to concrete in its unsaturated state. The results of an experimental programme in which pore pressures and moisture contents were measured in concrete specimens subjected to a variety of one- and three-dimensional infiltration conditions are presented. The data is analysed critically in light of the theories. A finite element model of the diffusion process is used in an attempt to verify estimates of the magnitude of the sorption force near the wetting front, and to explore the effect of material heterogeneities on the inflow. The heterogeneity of concrete pore structure near a cast surface may be evaluated by observing trends in the infiltration data. The implications for microstructural quality testing are discussed.

Keywords: Unsaturated concrete, Diffusitivity, Sorptivity, Electrical resistivity, Pore pressure.

[Cambridge University | CUED | Division D | Structures Group ]

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