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Effect of Compressive Loading on Transport Properties of Cement-Based Materials Open Access


Other title
X-Ray Tomography (XRT)
Non Destructive Testing (NDT)
Fibre Reinforced Concrete
Connected Porosity
Ultrasonic Wave Velocity (UPV)
Pore Connectivity
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Supervisor and department
Bindiganavile, Vivek (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Ayranci, Cagri (Mechanical Engineering)
Babadagli, Tayfun (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Cheng, Roger (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Boyd, Andrew (Civil Engineering, McGill University)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Structural Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The durability of concrete is one of its most important properties and has been an attractive subject for research in recent years. One of the criteria that affect concrete durability is permeability. Transport processes in concrete have been investigated for several decades. However, the correlation between transport coefficients and applied stress has received only little attention. On the other hand, measuring permeability involves a time-consuming test, with attendant concerns about system equilibrium and load control. Non Destructive Testing (NDT) of concrete makes it possible to obtain many test results from a single specimen and thus gives the opportunity to follow the changes in the properties of the specimen with time and under external influences. The scope of this study encompasses two major points of research focus. The first involves developing an experimental model for relating the permeability of cement-based materials under stress through non-destructive means, by measuring the Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity. The second part of this study examines the change in microstructure in cement-based materials under stress by employing x-ray tomography. A new parameter, pore connectivity, is introduced and was found to relate better to the permeability and damage caused by compressive stress. In all cases, the effect of fibre inclusion in mix designs is examined. The results show that both permeability and ultrasonic pulse velocity are stress-dependent and there is a correlation between the change of permeability and ultrasonic pulse velocity in cement-based materials under stress. The proposed permeability-UPV model has shown to have a good accuracy in predicting the permeability of concrete via a Non-Destructive Test method. On the other hand, the presented method for determining the pore connectivity of cement-based materials, has shown a good agreement with the permeability results (which also depend on the interconnectivity of the voids and pores). This study showed that more than the creation of new voids, it is the forging of connectivity between existing pores and microcracks that leads to increases in permeability. Moreover, by introducing a damage value parameter, the onset of damage was found to occur around the same stress level that the sharp increase in permeability, UPV and pore connectivity happen. These findings support a design approach which limits service load stresses to 60% of peak capacity. The defined damage value parameter was also found to be a good criterion for examining the concrete structures under service conditions.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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