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The Electrical Resistivity of

Concrete

BY
G. E. Monfore
Principal Research Physicist
Applied Research Section
Research and Development Laboratories
Portland Cement Association

SYNOPSIS
Electrical properties of concrete are of importance concrete ties may, under certain condi-
in several applications: pf current interest is the elec- tions, be about one-tenth of the resistance
between rails on timber ties. This resis-
trical resistivity of concrete crosstier since this resistivity
affects the operation of railroad signal systems. An
investigation of electrical properties, including both tance between rails can be increased by in-
direct and alternating current studies, showed that sulating the rails from the concrete, a
moist concrete is essentially an electrolyte having a
method adopted by European railroads, or
r e s i s t i v i t y o f t h e o r d e r o f IO4 o h m - c m , a v a l u e i n t h e
range of semiconductors. Oven-dried concrete has a by increasing the resistance of concrete it-
r e s i s t i v i t y o f t h e o r d e r o f IO” o h m - c m , a r e a s o n a b l y self. An investigation of the latter possibili-
good insulator. \ ties provided the basis for the present
Several admixtures that were studied made only
m o d e r a t e c h a n g e s i n r e s i s t i v i t y o f portland c e m e n t study. The literature on electrical proper-
pastes. ties of concrete was found to be meager;
Various coatings applied to dried concrete were the most thorough general study noted was
that of Hammond and Robson.( They
ineffective in preventing ingress of water and conse-
quent lowering of resistance.
The resistance of concrete crossties probably can- found that the electrical resistivity of con-
not be increased sufficiently by use of admixtures or crete was highly dependent upon the mois-
coatings on the ties. However, studies of methods of
ture content, and that the resistivity of
insulating rails from concrete crossties, to be published
soon, i n d i c a t e t h a t s a t i s f a c t o r y r a i l - t o - r a i l r e s i s t a n c e concrete made from calcium aluminate ce-
may be obtained by such methods. ment was about 10 times greater than the
The present studies suggest that electrical methods resistivity of concrete made from portland
might have practical applications in concrete research.
cement. These authors also included 27
KEY WORDS: admixtures (concrete): aggregates; refer_ences in their review of the subject;
reviews in the present paper, accordingly,
alkali content: coatings; concretes: conductivity: elec-
trical properties; moisture content; mortars; pastes;
railroad ties will be limited to those not covered by
Hammond and Robson. Nikkanen(2) con-
cluded that paste and concrete.are conduc-
INTRODUCTION tors similar in nature to electrolytes, and
Increasing use of concrete crossties by the listed data showing that the temperature
American railroad industry has emphasized coefficient of electrical conductivity of fresh
the need for additional information con- paste is of the same orde_r of magnitude
cerning the electrical properties of con- as that of common electrolytes. Henry(s)
crete. Such properties are of interest be- found the electrical resistivity of concrete
cause the railroad signal systems operate
through the rails. Field data indicate that *Numbersin parentheses designate references at
electrical resistance between rails laid on end of paper.

bevelopmenf Laboratories, May 7968 35

Resistivity. i. . Eq. and is numerically equal to the resistance rents are used in the various railroad signal of a l-cm cube of the material. for a certain range of 10” ohm-cm after 7 days moist cure. proportional to the potential applied and pose of this study was to determine if there inversely proportional to the resistance of were practical ways of increasing the re. . . ..ED land cement is completely hydrated. P. Tests by Ham. Ca++. A I=4 . from mond and Robsonc 1) support the view measurements of I and E. . . as it is fre- conduction of electricity through moist quently called. concrete would be essentially electrolytic. is the applied potential in volts. .. indicated peaks in admittance curves that is resistivity in ohm-cm. . and generally occurred at times corresponding A is cross-sectional area in sq cm. to those of final set. . is essentially constant for a SCOPE given material under constant conditions Since both direct and alternating cur. and OH-. This is an increase of 10 million 1 = Ea* R .(3) may be writ- evaporable water was removed by drying at ten as 105 C. The concentrations E. Several R=PA . l is length in cm.E. systems. Assuming that E. where tions vary with time. . (2) secondary purpose was to strive for a better understanding of the mechanism of electri. K+. the present investigation included Ohm’s law states that the direct current measurements of DC and AC electrical through a metallic conductor is directly properties of concrete. Studies by Tobio. . is ty of a certain concrete. . and E.. . . and I. . . (5) 2 ~ R other material. .(a) This R water contains ions. . it is necessary to that conduction is by means of ions in the make measurements using at least two evaporable water. . . and places dried concrete in the class 1 . . In such a case the current is varies from about 60 percent at the time of mixing to about 40 percent when the port. the THEORY passage of direct current will cause polari- zation and the estabkhment of a potential The volume of evaporable water in paste at the electrodes that opposes the applied found in the usual saturated concrete potential. . I= Erl . . If the conductor is an electrolyte. whose concentra. . or any 1 = JL . investigators have correlated resistivities of where cement pastes with setting times. R is resistance in ohms. is the polarization potential in volts. . . as Nikkanenta) suggested. (subsequent tests showed that increased to about 1O1* ohm-cm when the this is essentially true). In order to evaluate R and E. are currents resulting from the cross-sectional area. L creasing salinity of mixing water... . was values of E. . or back emf. primarily Na+. It would be expected then that E. the conductor. respectively. and The resistance of an electrolyte. sistivity of concrete that would be usable in the production of concrete crossties. which was about independent of E. .E. and note any useful applications for electrical E is potential in volts. times. The primary pur. of some ions increase while those of others and decrease.e. . . where cal conduction through concrete and to I is current in amperes. . . . . . to increase with age and decrease with in. methods in concrete research.(4) with electrical insulators. . . . . different values of E. . They found the resistivi. . . .t4) utilizing very high frequencies. SO--. is directly proportional to the length and inversely proportional to where I. 36 Journal of The PCA Research and . Thus potentials E.

Noting that the cross-sectional per second). p”+2 fz+2 trodes and may influence the potential P created. ... lyte.. . Concrete may be considered as a compos- ite system of various-sized aggregate parti- E = JL 1. L. kV . For spheres k is 2. . however..-=V$. Maxwell derived a formula(s) for a com- from reactions that take place at the posite having uniform spherical particles: electrodes. P=Pm 2v.v 2 . - P _ Ea. Thin films of oxygen. Fricke(a) deduced a similar equation for mond and Robson. . which for the Also in laboratory measurements of AC special case of nonconductive particles. .1 -Pm . is the fractional vol- capacitance in series with the resistance of ume of the matrix. . 11 . and the relative volumes of the two materi- Polarization potential (back emf) results als. From Eqs.. I. conductive matrix may also be expressed in For the particular case of a resistor and terms of an effective path length.. The resistivity of a composite consisting E is potential in volts. where Alternating currents are commonly used Pm is the resistivity of the matrix. .V. m where I is current in amperes. . the polarization effects are not and V. (6) cles embedded in a matrix of portland and cement paste. . . . . . .(13) . the4 balancing capacitor and resistor are connected in par. P .I. f being in hertz. . different manner. .V . is properties of electrolytes. hydrogen. . . the resistivity of the matrix. . pzpm 1 4v 2. p=pm 1 +k-V. avoid such polarization effects.. and for a partic- and resistor in parallel. Hz (cycles current. May 7968 37 . . .(ll) film of gas between electrode and electro. for that sand. .. . .4 . . 1. . (4) and (5).. in the study of electrolytic solutions to i P is the resistivity of the composite. Pa is the resistivity of the particles. posite will depend upon the resistivity of 12--I. The current through ular sand studied by Fricke k was 1. I=+ .( 1) consider the capaci- tance to be in parallel with the resistance. and of nonconductive particles embedded in a Z is impedance in ohms. . . and area of the matrix in a I-cm cube is numer- C is capacitance in farads. (12) allel.**. there results the electrolyte. such a combination is Thus. reactions which depend upon the ions present and the materials of the -P m . is expressed an electrolyte has the effect of a large a s l .. . . is the fractional volume of the really avoided but are simply manifest in a particles. . .4. Jones and Christian(s) If the resistivity of the particles is as- presented data indicating that polarization associated with the passage of AC through sumed to be infinite and if V. the effec- tive path length is longer than the dimen- sion of the composite in the direction of the where w = 2 ?r f. . (7) the particles.. . uniform ellipsoidal particles.*. Other investigators. . the resistivity of the Development Laboraiories. . ically equal to V. Terry(r) suggested that the capacitive effect may be due to a very thin 3 . . .. where V. . Apparently. Since capacitor in parallel the current must travel a tortuous path be- cause of the obstructing particles.. ***.(lO) or other gases may be formed on the elec. . In the present paper the behavior of Ill concrete subjected to AC potentials will be where k depends upon the shape of the el- considered to be equivalent to a capacitor lipsoids. The resistivity of such a com- R=Eaz--E. ..-..--. -.1 electrodes. . . including Ham.

17 2. 3800. T.e. other cubes were cast with embedded stainless Water-Soluble K20* 0.87 These cubes were connected into the cir- cuit by means of heavy brass plates that SO.66 21.Locations of Stainless Steel ing a maximum size of s/4 inch. were the same. From the compositions of ‘72-hr extraction.3 2. is in the normal concretes. Three ASTM Type I cements were used in these studies.72 5.08 0. for A. Concretes contained 6 bags of cement (564 lb. Fez01 2. The aggregate was I-INCH CUBE 4-INCH CUBE composed of 41 percent by volume of Elgin sand and 59 percent Eau Claire gravel hav- Fig. .(l). equation TABLE l-CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF CEMENTS Composiiion.18 contacted opposite faces of a cube through Total No20 0.69 In addition to these plain cubes. . . 38 Journal of The PCA Research anoDE .30 0. a term frequently used in ash equivalent to that of the cement used the description of the structure of rocks.55 2. I . The sur- face areas of these cements.64 ties compatible with components of the coo 63. Mll20? 0.57 2. these cements shown in Table 1. by the gredients.91 2.12 0.. . tents ranged from 5 to 6 percent. and all other in- related to the effective path L. Componenl Cement A Cement B Cemenl C the actual dimension of the composite in the direction of current flow. including water.94 steel electrodes to better simulate a con.06 0.82 20.. A mixture of 75 percent portland cement and 25 per- composite may be written. yo by wt where L is the apparent path length. The sand used in the mortars consisted of rounded quartz particles that passed a No.97 2. (14) m a total absolute volume of cement plus fly Tortuosity.90 TEST SPECIMENS 5. .97 1.05 0.42 AMA One-inch paste cubes and 4-inch concrete cubes were found to have electrical proper.06 measuring circuits to be described later. Air con- Electrodes in Cubes.16 0.15 1.35 a stiff graphite-water paste. Such a paste was used by Hammond and Robson( 1) in Water-Soluble NozO* 0.22 crete crosstie that normally has embedded Loss on Ignition 1. .1 1 0.74 63. . cent fly ash by weight was used in concretes that were steam cured or autoclave cured.04 0.10 - their studies. 1. from Eq.14 2. and 3470 sq cm/g. B.41 by weight).64 gallons of water per bag of cement (water-cement ra- tio = 0. as determined by the Blaine Method.1 1 1. respectively. .) per cubic yard and 4. were 3870.32 63. .3 1 0. 20 sieve. . L Enough of this mixture was used to supply /dy . Total K?O 0. 10 sieve and were retained on a No.62 4. The sizes and locations of these internal electrodes are Insoluble Residue 0.56 stainless steel bolt anchors. Me0 2. and C.12 shown in Fig. SiO2 20. note that the alkali content of Cement A was low and that of Cement B was high. i.

77 327 shown in the left side of Fig. the battery circuit was room at 73 F and were then stored at 73 F opened. but was still greater A. the poten- tial was increased to 6 volts and main- Slumps of the normal concretes ranged tained at this level for an additional 10 from 2 to 3 inches.75 I 328 I minute and was approaching equilibrium I I I fopmenf Laboratories. following 10 minutes. Concrete. ‘mortar. The resistance culated and are listed in Table 2. Currents were deter- 2. moist-cured 7 days. 3. 8. creased rapidly at first. and rapidly reached an equilibrium value. Fig. the more potential and the resultant currents.’ r Fig. by 10 minutes. potentiometer was used ization potentials and resistances were cal- for current measurements. Polarization Potential and DC Resistance To verify Eqs. volts volts ohms The response of Concrete A. 3 -Current-Potential-Time Characteristics Cube of Concrete Specimen. the meter itself did riving Eqs. C will carry the designations B and C. The current increased immediate- cretes containing fly ash were as high as 6 ly with the increase in applied potential inches. The clip-on milliammeter was used only mined 10 minutes after the application of for readings taken when the current was each potential. SbXWJe Precison Battery Potentiometer Vacuum Tubs Cuoncret Voltmeter n r l . At other times. May 7968 39 . re- spectively. 6. or Paste right side of Fig. Four-inch concrete cubes having internal TABLE 2-POLARIZATION POTENTIAL AND RESISTANCE stainless steel electrodes were used for all Concrete C DC studies. Note that 6 and 8 1. (6) and (7). minutes. These of the vacuum tube voltmeter was 10’4 values are essentially constant and would ohms. Mortar A. After 10 minutes. (6) and (7). and the potential of the electrodes in limewater (water saturated with calcium in the concrete was measured during the hydroxide) until tested. not influence the readings as would a con. 3. *Twenty minutes after the first application Unless otherwise noted. while those made from Cements B and than 1 volt after 10 minutes. specimens were demolded following 24 hours in a moist of potential. Further verification was obtained by ventional voltmeter having a resistance of measurements on other concrete cubes at only several thousand ohms. From the values of applied changing rapidly. Similar curves were obtained with Concrete B. but slumps of the con. a specimen DC PROPERTIES Equipment made from Concrete C was subjected to DC The circuit used in the determination of potentials of 4. E ur R. days of moist cure.78 325 the current due to an applied potential of 4 volts dropped rapidly during the first 8 and 10 I 1. polar- precise. This potential de- or paste made with Cement A will be re. and 10 volts after 19 DC properties of concrete is SIiown in Fig. as shown by the ferred to as Concrete A. 2 -Circuit for DC Measurements. to the passage of direct current is 4 and 6 1. but slower. Applied Current-Potential-Time Characteristics DC Potential. hence during the measurement of seem to verify the assumptions used in de- polarization potentials.

hertz R.8 B 7 4 and 6 1.00301 560.000 Hz (cycles per set) made minor differences in resistance but major differences in capaci- tance as shown in Table 4. as later balancing of the bridge since harmonics AC measurements substantiated. trometer. Measurements were made at 90 . 4 are equal.0 ages of 7. Z. and concretes tially equal to the resistances. and thus the is shown in Fig. sistances. 4. affected the value of resist- ance of concrete only slightly. 1009. mortars. it was plete determinations of the resistance of a single plain l-inch paste cube was 1. Nevertheless. Frequencies of 100.9 B 28 4 and 6 1. the vari- tector which was an audio frequency spec.072 17 570.1 per- cent.4 per- cent. except for temperature.77 598 10. for Concrete A was slightly higher than Fig.9 percent was found for the de- terminations of the resistances of six 4-inch concrete cubes having internal electrodes. Although The coefficient of variation of six com- such an instrument is not required. days ohms Frequency. from the oscillator were filtered out. The first set of three of these cubes was cast DETECTOR on one day and another set of three was cast a week later. calculated from Eq. (9). and the coefficient of variation of the OSCILLATOR determinations of the resistances of six companion l-inch paste cubes was 1. tance of the specimen are equal to the corresponding values of the variable resis- AC PROPERTIES tor and capacitor at balance. AC Messurements.76 435 B 90 4 and 6 1. the present studies. were essentially equal to the measured re- Fig. (9) were essen- properties of pastes. This instrument includes a series of narrow-band filters connected between Reproducibility the bridge and the null indicator.000 561 0. was essentially constant for a given cement. A 7 412 (cycles per set) ohms microforads ohms A 20 514 A 90 642 100 571 0. 28. and 10. It will be Equipment shown later t t impedances of concrete 9 The bridge circuit used in studying AC specimens calculated by Eq. and 90 days as listed in Table available and its use allowed very sensitive 3. values of impedance Z. the resistance and capaci- that for Concrete B. able capacitor was necessary in order to ob- tain a sensitive balance of the bridge. Resistance increased with age. As the reference arms of the bridge of E. All components were capacitances were of minor importance in usual laboratory equipment except the de. A somewhat higher coefficient of vari- IOOO-OHM STANDARD ation of 4. but E.000 551 0. 4. C.00040 551. TABLE 3-POLARIZATION POTENTIAL AND RESISTANCE TABLE 4-EFFECT OF FREQUENCY AT A POTENTIAL OF 4 VOLTS Concrete B concrete Aget R.Bridge Circuit for.80 308 1. VARIABLE CAPACITOR Testing Procedure Variables Variations in the testing procedures for ranges used in the present study. However.

60. an average increase this increasing resistivity. Measurements of the of evaporable water with continuing hy- resistivity of a paste over the temperature range from 40 to 100 F are shown in Fig.3 ter-cement ratio on the resistivity of l- TABLE 6-EFFECT OF TYPE OF ELECTRODE Resistance. days on a 4-inch Concrete B cube having inch plain paste cubes is shown in Table 7. 28. mortar or concrete Note too that resistivity increased with would also be expected to decrease with in- time of continuous moist storage. (1). Decrease creasing temperature. o‘hms I I Age. estimations of resistivities can be made on the basis of data listed in Fig. A volts) External Resistance Internal Resistance days Externa Internal Electrodes Electrodes (ratio) 7 28 483 616 380 481 I 1. (1000 hertz.27 1. C. 5. and resistiv- I I I 2 964. the re. and was tested after 7 days in limewater and 14 days drying in an atmosphere of 50 percent rela- tive humidity and 73 F. The resistances of companion 4.28 90 844 621 I 1. Concrete A The resistance of a 4-inch plain cube may Applied be estimated from the measured resistance Potential. 5 -Effect of Temperature on Table 6.4 0.4 0. sistivity of moist paste. L of a cube having internal electrodes by volts microfarods ohms means of the ratios of Tab& 6. The effect of potentials of 2 to 8 volts on resistance or impedance was slight as shown in Table 5. 8 961. water-cement ratio of 0. May 7968 47 . but other effects. Resirtivity of Paste A.40 was about dou- creases with increasing temperature. The specimen used for those measurements was a 4-inch cube of Con- crete A having internal electrodes. internal electrodes. Resistivities of 4-inch cubes having inter- nal electrodes cannot be calculated directly 600~ from measured resistances because of un.00295 961.Developmen+ Laboratories.36 . dration would have likely been a factor in For this specific range. in temperature of one degree F caused an such as continuing release of alkalies and average decrease in redstivity of one per- cent. F areas.00267 961.7 6 0. A 0. inch concrete cubes with internal and with TABLE S-EFFECT OF POTENTIAL AT A external electrodes were measured after FREQUENCY OF 1000 HERTZ moist curing periods of 7.4 ity of the plain cube is readily computed by use of Eq. The effect of wa.8 Paste and Concrete Variables Water-Cement Ratio. However. and 90 days. I 4 0 6 0 I 8 0 100 I known path lengths and cross-sectional TEMPERATURE. Notice that the resistivity of paste having a Since the resistivity of electrolytes de.00140 964.00207 962. ble that of paste having a ratio of 0.

thereafter the resistance of Paste B was crete A. stainless steel electrodes. Paste A.Resistance of Pastes at Early Ages.Effect of Continuous Moist Storage. To pro- some measurements on solutions may be of vide further comparison. It should be noted that resistances of resistivity of the concrete was about five both pastes were essentially constant fol times that of the paste. ages of 7 days and longer. I. The re- Resistivities of paste having a water-ce. Paste B. which were saturated with calcium hydroxide.R e s i s t a n c e o f P a s t e s o f GA a n d CsS. in pgreement with the data of Ta- tio. 7 . additional meas- urements on Pastes A and B were made at interest. but the opposite was observed at In connection with the effect of alkalies. Resistivities of Paste A and Con. 8 . g.z. and Table 7. 7. The ble 7. 8 shows that the resistivities of early ages using l-inch cubes* with internal sodium hydroxide solutions. which had a lower al. Fig. the early relationship was dilferent. the ratio used in the than that of Paste B during the first day. Table 7.41. having the same water-cement ra. NORMALITY OF NoOH F i g . leaching. are shown by the curves of Fig.000 : ‘l”‘l 1 w- 5 IO 50 IO0 cc TIME. est are the resistances of pastes of C.4 0.A and 42 Journal of The PCA Research and . Also of possible inter- arrangement the cubes were kept continuously moist without any appreciable leaching. about the first 5 hours and then began to Alkalies. were computed from the data of 4 days the resistances were equal. by concretes. increase. 6. - 5 0 0 o--Fm 01 IO TIME. de- creased markedly as the concentration of *These cubes were contained in plastic molds during test. might have been Paste A is considered to be real. F i g . The inflection in the curve for kali content than Paste B. higher. tY. b. and water was available to the tops sodium hydroxide was increased. As shown in Fig.Resistivity of Sodium Hydroxide Solutions Saturated with Calcium Hydroxide. Fig. might also influence the resistivi.0. HR 100 i 000 F i g .6 0 8 I. By this Pure Compounds. sistance of paste A was considerably higher ment ratio of 0. of the cubes via small diameter syphons. DAYS '0 0 z-. as it was expected to have a higher resistivity than observed several times.

3 F. At 90 days listed in Table 8. phosphate and three other admixtures in imens. ing cycle which consisted of 4 hours at 73 F. 12 hours at 160 F. but at later ages pastes with some ad- and autoclaved-cured specimens contained mixtures did show moderate increases. 4 volts) Paste droxide in the hydration products of C. DAYS DRYING TIME. Hammond and clave-cured specimens were held for 24 Robson have shown that the removal of hours at 7. ohm-cm probably due to the absence of calcium hy.40 1230 1360 1660 B 0. Following the initial read. 11. fly ash. held increases the resistance of concrete drasti- for 6 hours at 350 F. ty. The steam. The auto- hhmidity and 73 F. ( 1 0 0 0 h e r t z .50 1200 in limewater at 73 F. DAYS Fig. however. allowed to cool for 17 cally.60 a20 570 950 730 790 autoclave curing are ‘shown in Fig. dry in an atmosphere of 50 percent relative and 4 hours decrease to 73 F. Fig.” calcium hydroxide solution.tance resulted as 4-inch concrete cubes. Substantial increases in resis- mens were read immediately after the cur- . the admix- the resistances of the steam-cured specimens tures generally caused decreases in resistivi- were highest for both concretes. These measurements were made on l-inch *The type of specimen and test procedure were the same as just described in the section on cubes after 7 days immersion in a saturated “alkalies. and B 0.A.50 790 530 880 1090 A 0. four types of rocks which might be used as concrete aggregate are listed in Table 9.S paste at early ages. 9.S in- creased to a value higher than that of C.A. May 7968 43 .50 water-cement ratios are F for additional measurements. A 0. It is seen from CONCRETE E IO loo I IO 100 5 IO 5 0 100 5 0 0 5 IO 5 0 100 5 0 0 AGE.Effect of Type of Cure. Development Laboratories. IO. At early ages. concrete. The steam-cured speci- Drying.S at early ages as shown in Fig.40 1030 1170 1570 The resistance curve of C.+ The TABLE 7-EFFECT OF WATER-CEMENT RATIO resistance of the C. hours sealed in the autoclave.and autoclave-cured spec. steam curing. they were stored in limewater at 73 pastes having 0. Fig. The influences of normal curing B 0. Note that the initial phosphate in concrete has been reportedc 10) resistances of the autoclaved specimens to increase the electrical resistance of the were quite high.Effect of Drying et 50% RH end 73 F. Net w/c.60 700 760 those of portland cements.S was similar to A 0. Resistivity. The use of ammonium from the autoclave.A paste was higher than AND TIME OF MOIST STORAGE the resistance of the C. the resistance of C. and finally read at 48 hours immediately after removal Admixtures. then subjected to an increase all of the evaporable water by oven drying in temperature to 350 F in one hour. Kesults of tests with ammonium ings of the steam. C. but the normal-cured specimens did Type of Aggregate. Fig. Curing. 7. I I . 10. were allowed to 4 hours increase to 160 F. (wt ratio) 7 days 28 d a y s 9 0 days Later. having internal electrodes. The resistivities of not. Specimens were 4-inch concrete cubes with internal electrodes.

42 14 3810 3990 1. 1 3 757 . are listed in Table 10 and pared to the resistivity of paste. 4 volts) 28 2200 2200 1.25 \ Type I 0. . are considerably greater than that of paste.37 28 4370 4300 1. ohm-cm 14 2030 2040 1. and the are seen to agree very well with the mea- resistivities of the sandstone and limestone sured values. 1 .0 650 790 810 BOO 990 1480 4. the resistivity of some aggregates when embedded in concrete. 540 700 1520 Hydroxyethyl 0. 4 volts) L A series of l-inch mortar cubes were % Age.50.36 28 3330 3240 1.o 490 590 820 610 740 1070 Hydroxyacetic 0. 0. TABLE 1 0-RESISTIVITIES AND PATH LENGTHS OF MORTARS Correlation between Measured and Computed Values Re&ttvity. calculated from Eq.50 is only hence the resistivity of the paste matrix was slightly greater than 1000 ohm-cm at an age the same for all of the specimens. Paste A Paste B Kind oEx.4 540 720 2200 670 840 1420 0. calculated and granite are essentially infinite as com. The water. from Eq.000 hertz. 1 28 J154 .2 630 830 2320 750 920 1830 A c i d . ing a water-cement ratio of 0. The resistivities of the marble the resistivity of the mortars. (13).486 3 2140 2130 lx37 14 3000 3010 1.5 540 630 1120 680 830 1250 1 .386 3 2780 2820 1. Even so.2 610 740 1440 760 930 1480 hW)zH% 0.8 . Values of of 3 months. NOW 790 880 1090 820 950 1200 Ammonium Phosphate. TABLE 8-EFFECT OF ADMIXTURES IN PASTES (w/c = 0. stant. Effective path lengths.. HOCHsCOOH 0. the resistivity of values of L. It will be noted that the with limewater. were indeed reasonably con- the usual moist concrete must be consider. (14) and also listed in However. 4 volts) AmOUnt.654 3 1430 1440 1. ohm-cm (10. . 7 days 28 days 90 days 7 days 28 days 90 days .5 550 750 1180 630 850 1340 Cellulose Calcium Chloride. ohm-cm (1000 hertz.50) Admixture Resistivity. cement ratio was held constant at 0.0 570 690 700 670 890 1650 Table 7 that the resistivity of a paste hav. Table 10. made from Cement A and varying amounts days Measured Computed cz of the 10-20 mesh quartz sand.46 Journal of The PCA Research and . should be constant for a given posed to alkalies.40 0.o 770 910 940 920 1070 1130 CaCls . ably dependent upon the resistivity of the paste matrix. would be lower than the specimen provided the particles remain value obtained for specimens saturated nonconductive. 1 14 1071 . L. 1 T A B L E 9-RESISTIVITIES OF ROCKS 0. 2HsO 2.24 % by wt (1000 hertz. and thus ex.24 \ Absorption. Resbtivity.

clave. 8) value of 280 ohm-cm calculated from resis. The in. reristivity of composite (paste. the cubes were immersed in conducting ions. these values of L.2 normal solution 29 ohm-cm of 29 ohm-cm should be compared to the (Fig. er for the high alkali Cement B than for Cement A. From these values of V. measured) evaporable water in this case. with time must therefore mean that the maintained.(14) by using resis. were low. than 1. that Eq. This might mean that reactions were given two applications of each mater- occurred between Na+ and K+ ions and the ial tested.(14). but is felt to be of value. The paste itself may also be considered as a composite of nonconductive particles in a matrix of conductive evapor- able water. such as the studies by Seligmann(r2) which showed data shown in Fig.( 14) assumes nonconductive parti- cles. V. 6. and p and an L. resistivi- (Table 10) ties of the matrix pm were calculated by pm. resistivity of matrix 280 ohm-cm Eq. effective path length 1.(11) and the rests*Yrvity of such (Reference I 1) a solution is 29 ohm-cm. measured) 880 ohm-cm perimentally with results as shown in the table.2 taken as 0. age 28 days lined in Table 12. taken from Table 10. This value Resirtivity of 0.. however. h. 12. The increase in values of termine if this high resistance could be L. p. water. and that the increase of L.. Fig. Values so computed that a considerable part of the evaporable are listed in Table 11. Resistances measured after several port in the fact that values of L. is an impossible value since the the. 8. and the resis- tivities of the paste were determined ex. An effective path length for concrete may cent of the evaporable water significantly be calculated from Eq. or normal-cured or steam-cured speci- oretical effective length can never be less mens that are air-dried for sufficient time.81. CONSIDERED AS A COMPOSITE paste considered as a composite are out- w/c = 0.. Coatings ing implications. Bearing in mind water in paste is tightly bound. and after the coatings had aggregate which reduced the number of hardened. This tivity data for pastes and concretes having is in qualitative agreement with recent the same water-cement ratio. M a y 1 9 6 8 4: i . Apparent fraction of matrix available 0. with time was greater for Cement B than for TABLE 1 1-RESISTIVITIES AND PATH LENGTHS OF CONCRETES Cement A. Various coat- tive path length of a given specimen cannot ings were tried on dry specimens to de- change with time.44 (evaporable water. The foregoing discussions stemmed from considerations of mortars and concretes as composites of nonconductive particles in a paste matrix.1 tance measurements on the paste.50. conductivity of the particles was decreasing Dry 4-inch cubes with internal electrodes with time. This must mean that the aggregate have resistances manyfold greater than cor- was conductive. contributed to electrical conduction.4 cm estimated L. The value of 0.. Also the theoretical effec. for conduction dications are thus that only about 10 per- Development L a b o r a t o r i e s . The uncertainties. periods of immersion are shown in Fig. The fractional volume of the matrix V. (14) 1 mality of the evaporable water might be Assumed normality of matrix 0. responding moist specimens. Specimens taken directly from an auto- stance. for in. This view has some sup. fractional volume of matrix 0. A reasonable value for the nor.2. The vari- ous steps in the calculation of properties of TABLE 12-PASTE A. have some interest. The follow- ing discussion is therefore of a speculative nature. are much greater in the latter case.

any factor that affects the amount or cur at the electrodes are evident with either properties of the liquid.f Tfre PCA Research and . may be subject to electrolytic cor- ally increased with increasing thickness. Some metals. varied considerably . an electrolyte. the paste matrix. by Hanson and and consequent decrease in resistance. while those on the con. insulators are obtained. but is materials actually decreased the resistance sensitive to temperature. A paper to be pub- plied in equal coating thickness. effective as barriers to the ingress of water tion.*5) The resistivity of applied by a commercial firm using their the concrete is likely a factor in the rate of own formulations. thickness as indicated by the measured val. drying at 105 C values in the range of good Fig. AUTOCLAVE - w/c=0 47 \ 1 u e”+ n c o t _ e d . of the specimens. or the kind or direct or alternating currents. designed to be embedded in con. DAYS -A 20 30 Fig. Resistivity of concrete may be increased In another phase of the investigation.(r3) of methods of insulating rails from Furthermore. several crease in resistivity considerably less than coatings on steel anchor nuts embedded in needed. l2-Effect of Coatings on Concrete. Concrete A Concrete B AUTOCLAVE . manyfold by air-drying. that insulation concrete were found to be effective. rail-to-rail resistance. The act& lished soon(r3) will describe in detail vari- coatings.in ous insulation methods. Fig. is influenced only slightly the resistance was only moderately greater by frequency in the audio range or by po- than that of the uncoated specimen. as the movement of ions in the evaporable ing current at audio frequencies through water of the paste matrix. and in some moist concrete is essentially conduction by cases in the pores of the aggregate particles.( 14. It seems. however. In contrast to the experi. particularly steel and alu- ues given in Fig. therefore. used in the present study provided an in- ence with coatings on concrete. and upon oven- coatings were applied to steel anchor nuts. concrete is considerably dependent upon but after 28 days of immersion in water. such corrosion that’ might be due to either crete specimens were applied in the PCA stray or galvanic currents. 14. 0 IO TIME AFTER IMMERSION IN WATER. Resistivity of number of ions will influence the resis- AA Journal c. to be published soon. 13. The epoxy coating was the most effective. These tests were part of an investiga. Several coatings crete crossties to receive the hold-down that were applied to dry concrete were in- bolts. and resistances gener. Polarization effects that oc. Hsu. Since the conduction of electricity CONCLUSIONS through moist concrete may be visualized Conduction of direct current or alternat. Laboratories. the most effective admixture concrete crossties. of rails from concrete crossties would be the The intent of the study was to compare most successful way of obtaining adequate the effect of the various materials when ap. rosion under certain conditions when em- The coatings on the steel anchor nuts were bedded in concrete. 14. Some tentials in the range of 2 to 8 volts. minum.

or dimension of com- posite. tance. cm L.. or resistivity of composite.IO- E.. ohms T = tortuosity V. No. volts 82 zg Er. Final Re- port. 199. ’ might have various practical applications CONCRETE B in concrete research.023”) 0 0 A = cross-sectional area. S. volts .J Al teflor 5 potentials E.Effect of Coatings on Anchor Nuts. I. farads Q E = potential. “On the Electrical Properties of C o n c r e t e a n d T h e i r A p p l i c a t i o n s . California. cm R = resistance. “Compari- son of Electrical Properties of Various Cements and Concretes.. Rakennus 60 (1962). 78-80. Technical Report Fig. 1955). sq cm Z- Or C = capacitance. Robert L. D A Y S INTERNAL Fig. 2. D.. i IO 20 5 0 TIME.. from applied “. E. T. Sarja III. ohms p = resistivity. Port Hueneme. _ epoxy (0. ” Valtion Teknillinen Tutkimuslaitos. cycles per second I = current. P.. 13 -Anchor Nut. k= constant that depends upon shape of ellipsoidal particles L = apparent length of conductive path. Hz (cycles per sec- ond) Hz = hertz. 75 pages. Hammond. 3. . Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory. amperes. 5165. 5166. In Finnish with English summary. amperes I.. 14. = effective length of conductive path. ohm-cm pm = resistivity of matrix. 114-115 (January 21 and 28... R-314 (June 1964). = polarization potential (or back emf). E. Tiedotus. ohm-cm o=27rf REFERENCES I. E.. = current.* . Electrical resistance methods thus IDOO... Henry.. 39 pages. volts f = frequency. and Robson.” The Engineer (London).027’thick) -0 NOTATION : IOO. ohm-cm Pa = resistivity of particles. polyethylene (0.” U.. = fractional volume of particles Vm = fractional volume of matrix Z = impedance. ----. Nikkanen. Development iaboraforifs May t96l3 47 . and No. “Water Vapor Transmission and Electrical Resistivity of Concrete. = applied potential. E..

41. T.. I. Monfore. No. Budnikov. Aluminum Conduit in Concrete. Iones. 2nd 14. C. “Nuclear Magnetic Resonance 6. Recent Concepts on Portland Cement Hydration 5. PCA Research Department Bulletin 222. T. Schuyler M. Monfore. Norman W. Freitag. 1 (August Department Bulletin 120. “Tests of Rail Fasteners. way Research Board Special Report 90 (1966). page 450. Dielectric Behavior of Several Spanish Cements. Borje. McGraw-Hill. opment Laboratories. No. see page 197. J.. Hugo. PCA Research Capacity of Disperse Systems.064863 (September 3. P. 1. 272-280 (February 1935). A DVANCED LABORATORY PMCITCE IN E LECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM. M.” Journal of the American Concrete Institute (November 1960). Grinnell. 1-6 (January 1958). and Christian. of Prestressed Wire in Concrete. Tobio. 52-65 (January ing Current. Society.” Physics.” To be published.1347-1 48 Journal of The PCA Research adc .Y. 57.” search Department Rulletin 173. 15. E.” 1961). No.” Journal of the American Chemical 1968). Friedrich E... same as reference 8. “Structure and Physical Proper. and Hardening. 24.I’The Measurement of the Conductance-of Elec: Paste. OF PORTLA~ C EMENT PASTE AND C ONCRETE. 8. and Verbeck. “Increasing the Elec.. “Some ber 10. G e r m a n P a t e n t N o .RdrD. 57.” Journal of 10. 13. High- nal of the American Ceramic Society. G. 1. S t u d i e s o f t h e W a t e r i n H a r d e n e d Cement ----- . PCA Re- trical Resis’tance and. No. 1. lo-22 (January 1965). 12. tories. 8. See page 108. G. “The Electric Conductivity and Proceedings. 4 . “Corrosion Ed.. and Ost. In German. Powers. Chemical Abstracts.Ser.. J. Paul.. M. 7798d (April 17. (Dyckerhoff and Widmann the PCA Research and Development Labora- Kommanditmsellschaft). G. 7. PCA Research Department see Table 3.. Seligmann. “A Study of the Setting Process. Silicates Zndustriels. 1.. Bulletin 94. “Corrosion of 9. (1929). 1959).” in SYMPOSIUM ON S TRUCTURE ties of Hardened Portland Cement Paste. Fricke. 1931)..” . Hanson. Earle Melvin. 30-35 and 81-87 (Octo. 55. VI. Galvanic Polarization by Alternat. E.. See abstract in English in PCA. 11. and Strelkov. 10. and Hsu. Strength of Concrete. P.” Journal of the PCA Research and Devel- trolytes./our. T. Terry.. 7. See page 106. C. 1959). Fricke. 491-515 (1960-61). N. Hugo.