Three-Dimensional Electrical Impedance Tomography to Monitor Unsaturated Moisture Ingress in Cement-Based Materials

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

  • Danny Smyl
  • Milad Hallaji
  • Aku Seppänen
  • Mohammad Pour-Ghaz

Research units

  • North Carolina State University
  • WSP USA
  • University of Eastern Finland

Abstract

The development of tools to monitor unsaturated moisture flow in cement-based material is of great importance, as most degradation processes in cement-based materials take place in the presence of moisture. In this paper, the feasibility of electrical impedance tomography (EIT) to monitor three-dimensional (3D) moisture flow in mortar containing fine aggregates is investigated. In the experiments, EIT measurements are taken during moisture ingress in mortar, using electrodes attached on the outer surface of specimens. For EIT, the so-called difference imaging scheme is adopted to reconstruct the change of the 3D electrical conductivity distribution within a specimen caused by the ingress of water into mortar. To study the ability of EIT to detect differences in the rate of ingress, the experiment is performed using plain water and with water containing a viscosity-modifying agent yielding a slower flow rate. To corroborate EIT, X-ray computed tomography (CT) and simulations of unsaturated moisture flow are carried out. While X-ray CT shows contrast with respect to background only in highly saturated regions, EIT shows the conductivity change also in the regions of low degree of saturation. The results of EIT compare well with simulations of unsaturated moisture flow. Moreover, the EIT reconstructions show a clear difference between the cases of water without and with the viscosity-modifying agent and demonstrate the ability of EIT to distinguish between different flow rates.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-124
Number of pages24
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Volume115
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Concrete, Electrical impedance tomography, Unsaturated moisture transport, Electrical methods, X-ray computed tomography, CURRENT COMPUTED-TOMOGRAPHY, POROUS-MEDIA, X-RAY, TIKHONOV REGULARIZATION, RESISTIVITY TOMOGRAPHY, HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY, NEUTRON-RADIOGRAPHY, WATER PENETRATION, IONIC INGRESS, SOIL SAMPLES

ID: 15877668