Effect of cracking on water and chloride permeability of concrete

Corina Maria Aldea*, Surendra P Shah, Alan Karr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

224 Scopus citations


The goal of this research was to study the relationship between cracking and concrete permeability and to support accounting for permeability and cracking resistance to other factors besides strength, as criteria to be considered in mix design to achieve a durable concrete. The effect of material composition [normal-strength concrete (NSC) and high-strength concrete (HSC) with two different mix designs] and crack width (ranging from 50 to 400 μm) on water and chloride permeability were examined. Cracks of disigned widths were induced in the concrete specimens using a feedback-controled splitting tensile test. Chloride permeability of the cracked samples was evaluated using a rapid chloride permeability test and the water permeability of cracked concrete was then evaluated by a low-pressure water permeability test. Uncracked HSC was less water permeable than NSC, as expected, but cracking changed the material behavior in terms of permeability. Both NSC and HSC were affected by cracking, and the water permeability of cracked samples increased with increasing crack width. Among the tested materials. only HSC with a very low water-to-cement ratio chloride permeability was sensitive with respect to cracking. Results indicate that the water permeability is significantly more sensitive than the chloride permeability with respect to the crack widths used in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials in Civil Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials


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