The non-destructive evaluation of the water permeability of concrete structures is a long standing challenge, principally due to the difficulty of achieving a uni-direction flow for computing the water permeability coefficient. The use of a guard ring (GR) was originally proposed for the in situ sorptivity test, but little information can be found for the water permeability test. In this study, the effect of a GR was carefully examined through the flow simulation, which was verified by carrying out experiments. It was observed that the GR can confine the flow near the surface, but cannot achieve a uni-directional flow across the whole depth of flow. To achieve a better performance, it is essential to consider the effects of the size of the inner seal and the GR and the significant interaction between these two. The analysis of the experimental data has indicated that the GR influences the flow for porous concretes, but there is no significant effect for dense concretes. Further investigation, validated using the flow-net theory, has shown a strong correlation between the water permeability coefficients obtained with the GR (K w-GR) and without it (K w-No GR), suggesting that one dimensional flow is not essential for interpreting data for site tests. Another practical issue was that more than 30 % of the tests with GR failed due to the difficulty of achieving a good seal between the inner and the outer chambers. Based on the work reported in this paper, a new water permeability test is proposed.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Adams AE (1986) Development and application of the CLAM for measuring concrete permeability. PhD Thesis, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, pp 1–328
Aïtcin PC (1998) High performance concrete. Taylor and Francis, London
Arbaoui T (1988) Finite element calibration of the CLAM. MSc Thesis, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, pp 1–103
Bamforth PB (1987) The relationship between permeability coefficients for concrete obtained using liquid and gas. Mag Concr Res 39(138):3–11
Basheer PAM (1991) ‘CLAM’ permeability tests for assessing the durability of concrete. PhD Thesis, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, pp 1–438
Basheer PAM (2001) Permeation analysis. In: Beaudoin JJ, Ramachandran VS (eds) Handbook of analytical techniques in concrete science and technology: principles, techniques and applications. William Andrew Publishing, Norwich, pp 658–727
Basheer PAM, Nolan EA (2001) Near-surface moisture gradients and in situ permeation tests. Constr Build Mater 15:105–114
BS1881-125 (1986) Methods for mixing and sampling fresh concrete in the laboratory. BSI, London, pp 1–10
BS-EN12390 (2000) Testing hardened concrete. Part 8: depth of penetration of water under pressure. BSI, London, pp 1–10
Cristensen BJ, Mason TO, Jennings JM (1996) Comparison of measured and calculated permeabilities for hardened cement pastes. Cem Concr Res 26:1325–1334
Dhir RK, Hewlett PC, Chan YN (1989) Near surface characteristics of concrete intrinsic permeability. Mag Concr Res 41:87–97
El-Dieb AE, Hooton RD (1995) Water permeability measurement of high performance concrete using a high pressure triaxial cell. Cem Concr Res 25:1199–1208
Hall C (1989) Water sorptivity of mortars and concretes a review. Mag Concr Res 41:51–61
Hearn N (1998) Self-sealing, autogenous healing and continued hydration: what is the difference. Mater Struct 31:563–567
Hyde GW, Smith WJ (1889) Results of experiments made to determine the permeability of cements and cement mortars. J Frankl Inst 128:199–207
Long AE (1985) Durability testing of porous material. UK Patent
Long AE, Henderson GD, Montgomery FR (2001) Why assess the properties of near-surface concrete. Constr Build Mater 15:65–79
Mehta PK, Monteiro PJM (2006) Concrete: microstructure, properties, and materials, 3rd edn. McGraw Hill, New York
Montgomery DC (1996) Design and analysis of experiments, 4th edn. Wiley, New York
Neville AM (1996) Properties of concrete, 4th edn. Wiley, New Delhi
Nolan E, Ali MA, Basheer PAM, Marsh BK (1997) Testing the effectiveness of commonly used site curing regimes. Mater Struct 30:53–60
Parrott LJ, Hong CZ (1991) Some factors influencing air permeation measurements in cover concrete. Mater Struct 24:403–408
Perry M, Hollis D (2003) The generation of monthly gridded datasets for a range of climatic variables over the United Kingdom. Met Office, Exeter
Price WF, Bamforth PB (1993) Initial surface absorption of concrete: examination of modified test apparatus for obtaining uniaxial absorption. Mag Concr Res 45:17–24
Stanish KD, Hooton RD, Thomas MDA (2000) Testing the chloride penetration resistance of concrete: a literature review. FHWA Contract DTFH61-97-R-00022 “Prediction of Chloride Penetration in Concrete”. University of Toronto
Torrent RT (1992) A two-chamber vacuum cell for measuring the coefficient of permeability to air of the concrete cover on site. Mater Struct 25:358–365
TR-31 (2008) Permeability testing of site concrete. Concrete Society, pp 1–90
Yang K, Basheer PAM, Long AE, Bai Y (2012) Assessment of air permeability of high performance concretes using a new in situ test. In: 3rd International conference on the durability of concrete structures, 17–19 Sep. Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, pp 1–8
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by both the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Queen’s University Belfast for carrying out the investigation reported in this paper. The work was carried out entirely at Queen’s University Belfast and hence facilities provided by the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen’s are gratefully acknowledged.
About this article
Cite this article
Yang, K., Basheer, P.A.M., Bai, Y. et al. Assessment of the effectiveness of the guard ring in obtaining a uni-directional flow in an in situ water permeability test. Mater Struct 48, 167–183 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1617/s11527-013-0175-5
- On-site water permeability test
- Guard ring
- Steady rate of flow
- Flow simulation