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Microstructure and Transport Properties of Porous Building Materials.

pdf icon Microstructure and Transport Properties of Porous Building Materials. (883 K)
Quenard, D. A.; Xu, K.; Kunzel, H. M.; Bentz, D. P.; Martys, N. S.

Materials and Structures, Vol. 31, 317-324, June 1998.


building materials; transport properties; porous materials; diffusivity; air permeability; microscopy; digital imaging


To successfully predict the performance of building materials exposed to a degradative environment, transport properties must be either measured or estimated. The development of relationships between microstructure and transport properties for these materials should allow accurate prediction of the latter and an increased understanding of how microstructure influences transport. Here, two microstructural characterization techniques, mercury intrusion porosimetry and scanning electron microscopy, are combined with computer modelling techniques to compute the vapor diffusivity and air permeability of three building materials commonly exposed in building facades, two types of brick and a natural sandstone. In general, the computed values compare favorably to those measured experimentally, thus demonstrating the capability of employing microstructural characterization to predict transport properties.