New Experimental Study Relating Cracking to Water Permeability of Normal Strength Concrete

  1. Prof. F. H. Wittmann
  1. Corina-Maria Aldea,
  2. Masoud Ghandehari,
  3. Surendra P. Shah and
  4. Alan Karr

Published Online: 23 DEC 2005

DOI: 10.1002/3527606211.ch24

Materials for Buildings and Structures, Volume 6

Materials for Buildings and Structures, Volume 6

How to Cite

Aldea, C.-M., Ghandehari, M., Shah, S. P. and Karr, A. (2000) New Experimental Study Relating Cracking to Water Permeability of Normal Strength Concrete, in Materials for Buildings and Structures, Volume 6 (ed F. H. Wittmann), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG. doi: 10.1002/3527606211.ch24

Editor Information

  1. ETH Zürich, Institut für Baustoffe, Werkstoffchemie und Korrosion, ETH Hönggerberg, HIF E12, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland

Author Information

  1. National Science Foundation Center for Science and Technology of Advanced Cement Based Materials, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, U.S.A.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 DEC 2005
  2. Published Print: 20 APR 2000

Book Series:

  1. EUROMAT 99

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527301256

Online ISBN: 9783527606214



  • normal strength concrete;
  • relating cracking to water permeability


The goal of the research presented here was to study the relationship between cracking and water permeability of normal strength concrete. The present study is an ongoing extension of previous work relating cracking to concrete permeability performed at ACBM, Northwestern University, and is novel in the crack generation and crack control. 50 mm slices were sawn from precast cylinders and used for the tests. The factors chosen for the experimental design were the location of the slice within the cylinder and average crack mouth opening displacement (CMOD) of the induced cracks, ranging from 50 to 300 microns. Cracking was characterized by CMOD, crack length and crack area, and water permeability by permeability coefficient and average flow rate. A feedback-controlled wedge splitting test was used to generate width-controlled cracks and speckle interferometry was used to record the cracking history. Water permeability was evaluated by a low-pressure water permeability test for loaded specimens at the designed CMOD. The experimental results showed that water permeability of cracked material significantly increased with increasing crack width and flow was quite repeatable for the same cracking level. Crack parameters significantly affect water permeability and there is no location effect. Given the sample geometry the crack parameters are not linearly independent, there is no direct relationship between water flow and crack length, where as comparable relationships exist between either CMOD or crack area and flow characteristics.