Electrical Resistivity and Formation Factor of Air-Entrained Concrete


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Title: Electrical Resistivity and Formation Factor of Air-Entrained Concrete

Author(s): Chunyu Qiao, Mehdi Khanzadeh Moradllo, Hope Hall, M. Tyler Ley, and W. Jason Weiss

Publication: Materials Journal

Volume: 116

Issue: 3

Appears on pages(s): 85-93

Keywords: air content; apparent formation factor; electrical resistivity; formation factor; Nick Point

Date: 5/1/2018

This paper studies the influence of air content on the electrical resistivity and formation factor of concrete as these measures are often used in specifications for acceptance and payment. Experimental measurements are conducted on 30 air-entrained concretes with three water-cement ratios (w/c = 0.40, 0.45, and 0.50) over a large range of air contents (2.5 to 9.0%). The porosity of the concrete is measured, which is comparable to the theoretical estimation from the Powers-Brownyard model. Electrical resistivity measurements are performed on saturated concrete samples, and samples submerged in simulated pore solutions. The samples submerged in a bucket of simulated pore solution achieve a degree of saturation that relates to the filling of matrix pores, (that is, the Nick Point). The degree of saturation at the Nick Point (SNK) decreases as the air content increases. A formation factor (FSAT) is calculated for the saturated concrete, as well as the apparent formation factor FNK for the samples submerged which reach Nick Point saturation (SNK) in the simulated pore solution. As the air content increases, FSAT decreases due to the increased porosity (air voids) that are filled with conductive fluid, while FNK is independent on the air content (as the air voids are filled with nonconductive air). As the w/c increases, both FSAT and FNK decrease due to the increased porosity and connectivity. For the concrete with the same w/c, the addition of a high-range water-reducing admixture (HRWRA) results in higher values of FSAT and FNK due to the refined microstructure in mixtures containing HRWRA. A saturation function is used to provide a powerful tool in quality control to back-calculate FSAT that relates to different transport properties.