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Using Neutron Radiography to Quantify Water Transport and the Degree of Saturation in Entrained Air Cement Based Mortar



Catherine Lucero, Dale P. Bentz, Daniel S. Hussey, David L. Jacobson, Jason Weiss


Air entrainment is commonly added to concrete to help in reducing the potential for freeze thaw damage. It is hypothesized that the entrained air voids remain unsaturated or partially saturated long after the smaller pores fill with water. Small gel and capillary pores in the cement matrix fill quickly on exposure to water, but larger pores (entrapped and entrained air voids) require longer times or other methods to achieve saturation. As such, it is important to quantitatively determine the water content and degree of saturation in air entrained cementitious materials. In order to further investigate properties of cement-based mortar, a model based on Beer’s Law has been developed to interpret neutron radiographs. This model is a powerful tool for analyzing images acquired from neutron radiography. A mortar with a known volume of aggregate, water to cement ratio and degree of hydration can be imaged and the degree of saturation can be estimated.
Physics Procedia


Air entrainment, Beer's law, degree of saturation, neutron radiography.
Created August 3, 2015, Updated November 10, 2018