Modeling water absorption in concrete and mortar with distributed damage

Danny Smyl, Farnam Ghasemzadeh, Mohammad Pour-Ghaz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The deterioration rate of concrete structures is directly influenced by the rate of moisture ingress. Modeling moisture ingress in concrete is therefore essential for quantitative estimation of the service life of concrete structures. While models for saturated moisture transport are commonly used, concrete, during its service life, is rarely saturated and some degree of damage is often present. In this work, we investigate whether classical isothermal unsaturated moisture transport can be used to simulate moisture ingresi in damaged mortar and concrete and we compare the results of numerical simulations with experimental measurements of water sorption. The effect of hysteresis of moisture retention is also considered in the numerical simulations. The results indicate that the unsaturated moisture transport models well simulate early stages of moisture ingress at all damage levels, where capillary suction is the prominent mechanism. At later stages of moisture transport, where air diffusion and dissolution have a more significant contribution, simulations that consider moisture hysteresis compare most favorably with experimental results. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-449
Number of pages12
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Volume125
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Cracking
  • Distributed damage
  • Durability
  • Finite element method
  • Mass transport
  • Numerical modeling
  • Unsaturated mass transport
  • UNSATURATED HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY
  • CEMENT-BASED MATERIALS
  • TRANSPORT-PROPERTIES
  • RICHARDS EQUATION
  • MOISTURE TRANSPORT
  • PORTLAND-CEMENT
  • MASS-TRANSPORT
  • POROUS-MEDIA
  • PERMEABILITY
  • SOILS

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