Conductivity/activation energy relationships for cement-based materials undergoing cyclic thermal excursions

W. J. McCarter*, G. Starrs, T. M. Chrisp, P A M Basheer, S. V. Nanukuttan, S. Srinivasan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The electrical conductivity of a range of concrete mixes, with and without supplementary cementitious materials (SCM), is studied through multiple cycles of heating and cooling over the extended temperature range −30/+70 °C. When presented in an Arrhenius format, the experimental results display hysteresis effects at the low-temperature end of the thermal cycle and, in those concretes containing supplementary cementitious materials at higher water/binder ratios, hysteresis effects were evident over the entire temperature range becoming more discernible with increasing number of thermal cycles. The depression in both the freezing and thawing point could be clearly identified and was used to estimate pore-neck and pore-cavity radii. A simplified approach is presented to evaluate the volumetric ratio of frozen pore water in terms of conductivity measurements. The results also show that the conductivity and activation energy of the concrete specimens were related to the water/binder ratio, type of SCM, physical state of the pore water and the thermal cycling regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1140
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number3
Early online date21 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


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