Water Absorption Tests for Measuring Permeability of Field Concrete

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
December 2012
March 2013
Final Report

Primary Investigators

Jian Zhao
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


CFIRE 04-06 concluded that microcracks and air voids in concrete that can be accessed by outside water and aggressive chemical are critical for the concrete durability. Such microcracks may originate from environmental attacks represented by freeze-thaw cycles and mechanical loading such as the truck loads on bridge decks. A new test method that measures the water absorption of concrete samples can be developed based on CFIRE Project 04-06 to evaluate the durability of concrete, especially the concrete in the field. The proposed technology transfer activities will reach out to engineers, testing agencies, and equipment manufactures for data/knowledge comparisons. Additional supporting data and the recognition of the knowledge from CFIRE 04-06 by engineers and researchers will facilitate the establishment and adoption of the new testing method.


The project objective is to introduce the industry a test procedure for quantifying the permeability of field concrete.


  1. Meet with field engineers for data comparison.
  2. Meet with testing agencies for potential adoption of the proposed procedure.
  3. Meet with an equipment manufacturer to further refine the procedures.
  4. Establish a website for result demonstration and for data collection.

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: September 1, 2012 – August 31, 2013
  • Budget: $47,119
  • Student Involvement: Two undergraduates
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 06-05
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