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Simple and fast porosity analysis of concrete using X-ray computed tomography


X-ray computed tomography is a well-known technique to measure porosity in materials such as concrete, though this usually involves time consuming scans and complex analysis procedures. Many of these involve custom software or programming procedures. In this paper, a simplified procedure is presented and demonstrated using results obtained from basic procedures with commercial software packages, with minimal image processing. The same sample was subjected to scans ranging from 100 to 5 μm resolutions, demonstrating the multiscale ability of commercial CT scanners. Scans done at typical high-quality conditions (1 h duration) in comparison to very fast scans (5 min) are also presented and it is demonstrated that useful information is still obtained from such lower quality faster scans. This demonstrates the concept that X-ray CT is simple and cost effective for research and industrial applications, not requiring expert 3D image analysis experience, for obtaining useful porosity information within the range of pore sizes resolvable by the technique.

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Jakob Petren is acknowledged for 2D analysis support with ImageJ.

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Correspondence to Anton du Plessis.

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du Plessis, A., Olawuyi, B.J., Boshoff, W.P. et al. Simple and fast porosity analysis of concrete using X-ray computed tomography. Mater Struct 49, 553–562 (2016).

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  • X-ray computed tomography
  • Pore size distribution
  • Image analysis