Coupled heat and mass transfer modelling in building materials now plays an important part in the design of energy-efficient buildings. However, concrete and other construction materials subjected to mechanical loading and atmospheric excitation inevitably develop fractures patterns during their lifespan due to mechanical, chemical or physical damage processes. The target of the present work is to determine whether non-destructive observation of crack patterns can help predict the moisture uptake rate of fractured building materials. Digital image correlation was used to quantify damage in two types of materials. Moisture concentration profiles were then measured by X-ray radiography and calculated by finite element simulations in order to attempt to validate a moisture transfer model based on the fracture characterization. This procedure showed that the coupling of a mechanical characterization with a hygric modelling can provide an appropriate prediction of the water infiltration in fractured porous building materials.
Proceedings of the 5th International Building Physics Conference, 2012, p. 103-108
Digital image correlation; Concrete; Fracture; X-ray radiography; Moisture transfer
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5th International Building Physics Conference (IBPC 2012)