Numerical and experimental assessment of unsaturated fluid transport in saw-cut (Notched) concrete elements

M. Pour-Ghaz, F. Rajabipour, J. Couch, J. Weiss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

35 Scopus citations


The long-term durability of concrete is related to its ability to impede or reduce fluid transport. The long-term durability performance of concrete pavement can be dramatically influenced by the ingress of water or other fluids at saw-cut joints. Research is needed to better understand the role of complex geometries, like saw-cuts, on fluid transport. This paper uses x-ray attenuation to study the unsaturated fluid transport in systems containing a saw-cut (notch). The rate of water transport is greater in the direction perpendicular (i.e., horizontal) to the wall of the saw-cut when compared to the penetration below the tip of the saw-cut. This can be explained by the geometry of the source. To study the influence of fluid properties on transport, two fluids were tested with dramatically different viscosities and surface tensions. The results indicate that for the solution with higher viscosity and lower surface tension the absorption rate is reduced significantly. A finite element based code (Hydrus) is used to simulate the unsaturated flow based on solution of Richard's equation. Results of simulations show good agreement with experimental results and confirm the effects of the geometry of the saw-cut on fluid transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationModeling as a Solution to Concrete Problems - Session at the ACI FAll 2009 Convention
Number of pages13
Edition266 SP
StatePublished - 2009
EventACI Fall 2009 Convention - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: Nov 8 2009Nov 12 2009

Publication series

NameAmerican Concrete Institute, ACI Special Publication
Number266 SP
ISSN (Print)0193-2527


OtherACI Fall 2009 Convention
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans, LA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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