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Water Vapor Adsorption in Porous Building Materials: Experimental Measurement and Theoretical Analysis


An experimental and theoretical analysis of the water vapor adsorption in several types of porous building materials is presented. For the measurement of adsorption isotherms, a DVS-Advantage water sorption device is used. The experimental data is analyzed using theoretical formulas based on the BET, BSB, BDDT, and FHH isotherms, assuming a mono as well as multi-layer water vapor adsorption. The BSB equation is found to provide a good approximation for the relative humidities below 0.6–0.7, whereas the FHH equation shows a sufficient accuracy for the relative humidities above 0.4–0.5. Based on a combination of BSB and FHH isotherms, a semi-empirical formula is proposed that allows one to obtain a very accurate approximation of experimental data for all analyzed materials and all values of the relative humidity.

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c :

BET constant (–)

C s :

Surface concentration (mol m−3)

\({C_{\rm s}^{{\rm sat}}}\) :

saturation surface concentration (mol m−3)

D :

Fractal dimension (–)

H a :

Molar heat of adsorption (J mol−1  K−1)

H c :

Molar heat of condensation/vaporization (J mol−1 K−1)

k :

Fitting parameter in BSB isotherm (–)

K :

Fitting parameter in FHH isotherm (–)

n :

Fitting parameter in BDDT isotherm (–)

R :

Universal gas constant (J mol−1 K−1)

σ :

Decay parameter of surface forces with distance (–)

T :

Absolute temperature (K)

θ :

Relative humidity (–)


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Correspondence to Robert Černý.

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Pavlík, Z., Žumár, J., Medved, I. et al. Water Vapor Adsorption in Porous Building Materials: Experimental Measurement and Theoretical Analysis. Transp Porous Med 91, 939–954 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11242-011-9884-9

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  • Water vapor adsorption
  • Porous building materials
  • Theoretical adsorption isotherms
  • Experimental measurements