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Studies on Water Absorption Capacity and Porosity

Code : ASTM C642-13

The total quantity of water absorbed is related to the total open porosity, while

the kinetics of the process depends principally on the distribution of the pore

sizes. This test also measures the capillary rise of water, the most common

form of liquid water migration into concrete which is inversely proportional to

the diameter of the pores. The smaller the diameter of the pores, the greater

will be the capillary absorption. Absorption is the capacity of a sample to hold

water while capillary is the rate at which the water fills the sample.

7.8.2 Test methodology

Concrete cube samples of size 100 x 100 x 100 mm are casted and cured for

28 days for testing. Wash the samples in the de-ionized water before beginning

this test in order to eliminate powdered material from the surface. Dry the

samples in the oven for 24 hours at 60°C and record their weights. Repeat the

drying process until the mass of the each sample is constant, that is, until

the difference between 2 successive measurements, at an interval of 24 hours,

is no more than 0.1% of the mass of the sample. Once the samples have been

completely dried and the constant mass is recorded (mo), place them in a

container or beaker, on a base of glass rods and slowly cover with de-ionized

water until they are totally immersed with about 2 cm of water above them.

At programmed intervals of time, take each sample out of the container, blot

it quickly with a damp cloth to remove surface water, and then record the

mass of the wet samples (mi) and the time of measurement on the data sheet.

Re-immerse the samples in water and continue measuring until the difference

in weight between 2 successive measurements at 24-hour intervals is less


than 1% of the amount of water absorbed. At this point, take the samples out

of the water and dry them again in an oven at 60°C until they have reached

constant mass (as above). Record this value (md) on the data sheet. At each

interval, the quantity of water absorbed with respect to the mass of the dry

sample is expressed as:

Mi% = 100 x (mi - mo)/mo

Where mi = weight (kg) of the wet sample at time ti; mo = weight (kg) of the dry

sample.

Record these values on a data sheet and on a graph as a function of time. The

length of the intervals during the first 24 hours depends on the absorption

characteristics of the materials. Concrete samples should be weighed a few

minutes after immersion, and then at increasing intervals (15 min, 30 min, 1

hour, etc.) for the first 3 hours. All samples should then be weighed 8 hours

after the beginning of the test and then at 24- hour intervals until the quantity

of water absorbed in two successive measurements is not more than 1% of

the total mass.

For measuring the water absorption capacity and volume of permeable

voids, a balance, water bath, and container suitable for immersing the

specimen are needed for performing the test. After the 100x100x100 mm cube

samples were cured for 28 days, three samples were put into an oven at 60°

C for 24 hours. The dried samples were taken from the oven and allowed to

cool for about 30 minutes. The samples were then weighed (Ma) using a

balance with an accuracy within 0.01 grams. The samples were submerged in

the water tank for 24 hours. After 24 hours, the samples were removed from

the water tank and their surface was dried with a paper towel to obtain a
saturated surface dry (SSD) condition. The weight (Mb) of the SSD samples

was measured. In the next step, the samples were put into a water bath with

boiling water for 5 hours. Then the samples were removed from the boiling

water and left to cool for 12 hours. Then weights of the samples were

measured (Mc). On the same day, the apparent weight of each sample (Md)

was measured by immersing the samples in the water using a hanging

balance. Using the measured weights (Ma to Md) and the equations from the

ASTM C642 standard test, the following parameters are obtained.

Water Absorption Capacity (WAC) = [(Mb-Ma)/ Ma] x 100

Bulk density = g1 = [(Ma)/ Mc- Md]x ρ

Apparant density =g2 = [(Ma)/ Ma- Md]x ρ

Volume of permeable voids (VPV) = [(g2 - g1)/ g2] x 100

where: Ma = mass of oven-dried sample in air, kg; Mb = mass of surface-dry

sample in air after immersion, kg ; Mc = mass of surface-dry sample in air

after immersion and boiling, kg and Md = apparent mass of sample suspended

in water, kg.

g1 = dry bulk density (kg/m3) and g2 = apparent density (kg/m3)

ρ= density of water (1000 kg/m3)

Finally total porosity ‘P’ or percentage of interconnected pore space was

calculated using the formula given below

Total porosity = (Vv/V) = (Wsat- Wdry) / ρw V

Where, Vv = volume of voids in cc= Wsat- Wdry in grams;

V = total volume of specimen in cc = 100 x 100 x100 mm3

Where ρw the unit mass of water (1 g/cc)


Wdry and Wsat denote the weight of the dried and fully saturated samples,

respectively.

The following equation was used to find the apparent porosity.

Apparent porosity (%) = [(Mw-Md)/ (Mw-Ms)] x100

Where Mw = weight of saturated specimen (after immersion in water for 48

hours, it is removed and surface dried), Md = Weight of oven dried specimen

and Ms = weight of specimen while suspended in water.

Porosity of concrete is usually determined by dividing the volume of voids of

the sample by its bulk volume. Bulk volume of each sample is determined

using the measured lengths and diameters of the samples. Volume of voids

for each sample is determined by subtracting its grain volume (the volume of

the solid portion of concrete excluding the volume of pores) from its bulk

volume. Total porosity therefore considers both permeable and impermeable

voids where as apparent porosity considers only impermeable voids.

7.8.3 Test Results and Discussion

The table 7.42 and figure 7.15 depicts the amount of water absorption with

time. Table 7.44 to 7.47 and Fig 7.16 give the water absorption capacity

(WAC), volume of permeable voids and apparent porosity of all grades of

controlled and bacteria incorporated concrete specimens.

Table 7.42: Water Absorption at different time intervals of controlled and


bacteria incorporated concrete for different grades
Measurement Controlled Concrete

Intervals M20 M40 M60 M80

ti (min) mo= 2.49 kg mo= 2.51 kg mo= 2.59 kg mo= 2.63 kg


mi(kg) Mi(%) mi(kg) Mi(%) mi(kg) Mi(%) mi(kg) Mi(%)

0 2.49 0.00 2.51 0.00 2.59 0.00 2.65 0.00

15 2.51 0.80 2.55 1.59 2.61 0.77 2.66 0.38

30 2.59 4.02 2.56 1.99 2.62 1.16 2.67 0.75

60 2.60 4.42 2.58 2.79 2.63 1.54 2.67 0.75

90 2.61 4.82 2.58 2.79 2.64 1.93 2.67 0.75

180 2.62 5.22 2.58 2.79 2.64 1.93 2.67 0.75

480 2.62 5.22 2.58 2.79 2.64 1.93 2.67 0.75

1440 2.63 5.62 2.58 2.79 2.64 1.93 2.67 0.75

2880 2.63 5.62 2.58 2.79 2.64 1.93 2.67 0.75

Bacteria incorporated concrete


Measurement
M20 M40 M60 M80
Intervals
mo= 2.51 kg mo= 2.53 kg mo= 2.60 kg mo= 2.64 kg
ti (min)
mi(kg) Mi(%) mi(kg) Mi(%) mi(kg) Mi(%) mi(kg) Mi(%)

0 2.51 0.00 2.53 0.00 2.60 0.00 2.64 0.00

15 2.52 0.40 2.54 0.40 2.61 0.38 2.65 0.38

30 2.54 1.20 2.55 0.79 2.62 0.77 2.65 0.38

60 2.56 1.99 2.55 0.79 2.62 0.77 2.65 0.38

90 2.58 2.79 2.56 1.19 2.62 0.77 2.65 0.38

180 2.58 2.79 2.56 1.19 2.62 0.77 2.65 0.38

480 2.58 2.79 2.56 1.19 2.62 0.77 2.65 0.38

1440 2.58 2.79 2.56 1.19 2.62 0.77 2.65 0.38

2880 2.58 2.79 2.56 1.19 2.62 0.77 2.65 0.38


M20
6 Controlled
M40
Controlled
M60
5 Controlled
M80
Controlled
Amount of water absorbed (M I %)

M20 Bacterial
4 M40 Bacterial

M60 Bacterial

0
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 100011001200130014001500

time (min)

Fig 7.15: Plot showing amount of water absorption with time for different
grades of controlled and bacterial specimens

Table 7.43: Durability Classification as per ASTM C 642

Volume of Permeable Voids Water Absorption


Classification (VPV) Capacity
(% by volume) (% by weight)
Excellent <14 <5
Good 14-16 5-6
Normal 16-17 6-7
Marginal 17-19 7-8
Bad >19 >8
Table 7.44: Water Absorption Capacity (WAC), Volume of Permeable Voids
and Apparent porosity of controlled and bacteria incorporated concrete
specimens for different grades
Controlled Concrete Bacteria incorporated concrete

M20 M40 M60 M80 M20 M40 M60 M80

Ma 2.49 2.51 2.59 2.63 2.51 2.53 2.60 2.64

Mb 2.63 2.58 2.64 2.67 2.58 2.56 2.62 2.65

Mc 2.64 2.59 2.65 2.69 2.59 2.57 2.64 2.67

Md 1.49 1.45 1.5 1.51 1.46 1.46 1.5 1.51

bulk density (g1) 2184 2221 2271 2267 2241 2300 2321 2315
(kg/m3)
apparent density 2490 2367 2376 2348 2390 2364 2363 2336
(g2) (kg/m3)
Water Absorption
5.62 2.79 1.93 1.52 2.79 1.19 0.77 0.38
Capacity (WAC)
(%)
Volume of
permeable voids 12 6 4 3 6 3 2 1
(VPV) (%)
Apparent porosity
11.4 5.5 3.8 1.4 5.7 2.1 1.1 0.5
(%)

Table 7.45: Porosity of different grades of controlled and bacteria


incorporated concrete at 28 days
Controlled Concrete Bacteria incorporated concrete

M20 M40 M60 M80 M20 M40 M60 M80

Msat (kg) 2.63 2.58 2.63 2.66 2.55 2.56 2.62 2.66

Mdry (kg) 2.49 2.51 2.59 2.63 2.51 2.53 2.60 2.64

Porosity, P
0.14 0.07 0.04 0.03 0.04 0.03 0.02 0.02
at 28 days

Decrease in
- - - - 72% 57% 50% 34%
Porosity
Table 7.46: Porosity of different grades of controlled and bacteria
incorporated concrete at 60 days
Controlled Concrete Bacteria incorporated concrete

M20 M40 M60 M80 M20 M40 M60 M80

Msat (kg) 2.63 2.58 2.63 2.66 2.55 2.56 2.62 2.65

Mdry (kg) 2.52 2.53 2.60 2.64 2.52 2.54 2.60 2.64

Porosity, P
0.11 0.05 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.02
at 60 days

Decrease in
- - - - 73% 60% 34% 34%
Porosity

Table 7.47: Porosity of different grades of controlled and bacteria


incorporated concrete at 90 days
Controlled Concrete Bacteria incorporated concrete

M20 M40 M60 M80 M20 M40 M60 M80

Msat (kg) 2.63 2.58 2.63 2.66 2.55 2.56 2.62 2.66

Mdry (kg) 2.49 2.51 2.59 2.63 2.51 2.53 2.60 2.64

Porosity, P
0.10 0.04 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.02 0.02 0.02
at 90 days

Decrease in
- - - - 70% 50% 34% 34%
Porosity
6.00

Water Absorption Capacity (WAC) (%)


5.00

4.00

3.00

2.00

1.00

0.00
M20 M40 M60 M80 M20 M40 M60 M80
Controlled Concrete Bacteria incorporated
concrete

14

12
12
Volume of Permeable Voids (VPV) (%)

10

6 6
6

4
4
3 3
2
2
1

0
M20 M40 M60 M80 M20 M40 M60 M80

Controlled Concrete Bacteria incorporated concrete

Fig 7.16: Water absorption Capacity and volume of permeable pore

space of controlled and bacteria incorporated concretes


0.16

28 days
0.14
60 days
90 days
0.12

0.1
Porosity

0.08

0.06

0.04

0.02

0
M20 M40 M60 M80 M20B M40B M60B M80B

Controlled Concrete Bacterial Concrete

Fig 7.17: Porosity of controlled and bacteria incorporated concrete

specimens of different grades at various ages

Concrete specimens incorporated with bacteria showed significantly less

water absorption capacity compared to controlled specimens. This decrease

in water absorption capacity of all grades of bacteria incorporated concretes

is attributed to the reduction of pores in the concrete. Water Absorption

Capacity (WAC) of bacteria incorporated concrete specimens is reduced by

nearly 50 to 75% for low to high grade concretes as compared with WAC of

controlled concrete specimens due to pore plugging with bacteria produced

calcite minerals thereby modifying the pore structure of the cement –sand

matrix. The absorption characteristics indirectly represent the volume of

pores and their connectivity. Porosity of concrete specimens is reduced by

nearly 34 - 73% with induction of bacteria into concrete for high to low grades.

The possible reason for this is calcite mineral precipitation in the pores

reduced the average pore radius of concrete. This means that the time taken

for the water to rise by capillary action in bacteria incorporated concrete is


longer and thus proved that these bacteria induced concretes are less porous

compared to the control concrete. The rate of water absorbed into concrete

through the pores gives important information about the microstructure and

permeability characteristics of concrete. Volume of permeable voids present

in bacteria incorporated concrete is less by 50-65 % than in controlled

specimens.

7.8.4 Conclusions

It can concluded that all grades of bacteria incorporated concretes have less

water absorption capacity compared to corresponding grades of controlled

concrete specimens due to pore plugging with bacteria produced calcite

minerals. This reduction of porosity in bacteria incorporated concretes

indicates the presence of less volume of permeable voids. Water Absorption

Capacity (WAC) of bacteria incorporated concrete specimens is reduced as

compared in controlled concrete specimens inferring the reduced extent of

volume of pores and their connectivity in bacteria induced concrete. Volume

of permeable pores (VPV) of bacteria incorporated concrete specimens are

reduced since calcite mineral precipitation in the pores reduced the average

pore radius of concrete by inducing pore discontinuity in the hydrated cement

paste. This means that the time taken for the water to rise by capillary action

in bacteria incorporated concrete are longer and thus proved that these

concrete are less porous compared to the conventional concrete.