The existing service-life prediction models rarely account for the effect of cracks on mass transport and durability of concrete. To correct this deficiency, transport in fractured porous media must be studied. The objective of this paper is to quantify the water permeability of localized cracks as a function of crack geometry (i.e., width, tortuosity, and surface roughness). Plain and fiber-reinforced mortar disk specimens were cracked by splitting tension; and the crack profile was digitized by image analysis and translated into crack geometric properties. Crack permeability was measured using a Darcian flow-thru cell. The results show that permeability is a function of crack width square. Crack tortuosity and roughness reduce the permeability by a factor of 4 to 6 below what is predicted by the theory for smooth parallel plate cracks. Although tortuosity and roughness exhibit fractal behavior, their proper measurement is possible and results in correct estimation of crack permeability.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Building and Construction
- Materials Science(all)