The relationship between resistances measured by two-probe, Wenner probe and C1760-12 ASTM methods in electrically conductive concretes
- 90 Downloads
In recent years, the investigation of electrically conductive concrete between construction building materials has been one of the interesting subjects. Therefore, it is important to examine and compare electrical resistance measurement methods. In previous studies, the resistance of electrically conductive concretes was measured by different methods. In this study, it is aimed to measure the resistivity value by three different methods and compare them with each other. For this purpose, two-phase electrical conductive concretes with eight different mixes and additional control concrete were produced. Two different proportions of carbon fiber and four different ratios of recycled nanocarbon black were used in the mixtures. The electrical resistivity of the produced cylindrical specimens was measured by two-probe, Wenner probe and C1760-12 ASTM methods. According to the regression coefficients obtained in the results, the linear relationships between the resistivity values measured with all three methods were found to be appropriate. In addition, the nanocarbon black additive used significantly increased the conductivity of carbon fiber. Nanocarbon black and carbon fiber have also been useful in improving the compressive strength of electrically conductive concretes.
KeywordsElectrical conductive concretes Nanocarbon black Carbon fiber Two-probe Wenner probe C1760-12 method
The electrical resistance of the concrete is defined as the resistance against the current when a voltage is applied to a concrete mass. Also, the resistivity is the resistance obtained at the unit area/length. Previously, the electrical resistance of the concrete was measured for durability and corrosion detection . In recent years, researches have been continuing on electrical conductive concretes (ECCs) with different usage areas. What is important about ECCs is research topics, materials used, mixture optimization, specimen geometry effects and different methods of measurement [2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. ECCs can be applied for the crack detection and strain sensing in construction elements  and can be used as an electromagnetic radiation reflector to protect the electromagnetic interference [8, 9, 10]. Also, ECCs can be used as self-heating plate for prevent snow and ice in road pavements [11, 12, 13, 14].
The conductivity or electrical resistance of ECCs is generally measured in bulk (uniaxial) or superficial manner . Bulk resistance (BR) is measured by the two-point method, and the surface resistance (SR) is obtained by the four-point or the Wenner probe method [15, 16]. In the two-point method, a voltage difference is applied between the two ends of the concrete specimen, the current realized as a result of the applied voltage is measured and the resistance is obtained by the Ohm law [8, 17, 18]. In the four-point method, a four-probe device is placed on the surface of the concrete specimen, a voltage difference is applied between the two medium probes and the amount of current between the two external probes is measured and the resistance (R) is obtained by using the Ohm law. The resistivity of the specimen is obtained by multiplication of coefficient \(2\pi a\) [15, 16, 19]. Here, a is the distance between the probes.
Sassani et al.  measured the resistances of ECCs produced for the purpose of optimizing in different mixtures by two-point uniaxial method. They were produced the specimens in the form of a 10-cm cube and, as electrodes, buried a metal mesh parallel to the two surfaces of the specimen. The resistance was calculated based on the amount of current that occurred as a result of the applied voltage between the two meshes. The resistance values found in the study of Sassani were in agreement with the resistance values of concretes containing carbon fiber in the literature . Similarly, Wu et al.  and El-Dieb et al.  measured the resistance of conductive concrete specimens they produced using two-point uniaxial method. However, it has been found that the normal concrete has bulk resistivity between 6.54 × 105 and 11.4 × 105 Ω cm [8, 22], and the resistivity of conductive concretes with different mixtures is between 30 Ω cm and 1 × 104 Ω cm [8, 17, 20, 21].
Frank Wenner proposed the four-point resistance measurement method to measure the surface conductivity of concretes in 1915 . This technique is recommended for the measurement of semi-homogeneous materials generally . However, since the concrete is a non-homogenous composite material, the specimen geometry, size and prop spacing are effective on the resistance value measured by this method . several authors were examined the relationship between SR and BR [4, 15, 16]. Ghosh found the SR/BR ratio to be 2.6 on average for different mixtures , in another study measured between 2.13 and 3.45 . This also, explains that different mixtures have an effect on the change in the SR/BR ratio. In addition, the ratio of the resistivity of the 100 × 200 cylindrical specimen to the resistivity of the 100 × 300 cylindrical specimen was found to be 1.56 in Ghosh’s study . Noushinin et al.  have obtained SR/BR ratio as 2.70 for 100 × 200 cylindrical specimens.
Resistance measurement methods mentioned above are commonly used methods in laboratory environment. Generally, the advantage of these methods is that they do not require standard equipment. Even so, it is the C1760-12 ASTM method, which is the standard for the measurement of electrical bulk conductivity of concrete. However, in order to measure the bulk conductivity of concrete in the C1760-12 ASTM method, a standard device must be used. In this study, it is aimed to measure the resistance of ECCs in different mixtures by three different methods. The relations between the method results will be presented as estimated equations.
2 Materials and methods
2.1 Material properties
Physical properties of 42.5 CEM I R cement
Initial setting (min)
End setting (min)
Specific weight (g/cm3)
Volume expansion (mm3)
Specific surface Area (cm2/g)
Liter weight (g/L)
2.1.3 Carbon fiber (CF)
Properties of used CF
Modulus of elasticity
0.00155 Ω cm
2.1.4 Nanocarbon black (NCB)
When carbon powder is used in combination with conductive materials in the form of fiber, it provides an advantage in increasing the conductivity . On the other hand, the evaluation of waste materials in concrete is a great advantage in terms of economic and environmental protection . Carbon powder can be obtained from waste tires by burning and pyrolysis methods . Recycled NCB obtained by pyrolysis method was used to increase the electrical conductivity effect in mixtures. NCB obtained by pyrolysis method is located between N200 and N330 according to ASTM nomenclature . The SEM image of the NCB is given in Fig. 1d.
2.1.5 Chemical additives
In order to prevent the need for excess water in the mixtures, the CHRYSO® Delta 2220 commercially called superplasticizer was used. In addition, 0.2 wt% of the binder, carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) dispersing material was used for the good dispersion of CF in the mixture.
2.2 Mix design
Materials used in 1 m3 mixture
2.3 Test methods
28-day, electrical and compressive test results
BR (Ω cm)
SR (Ω cm)
ASR (Ω cm)
2.3.1 Two-point uniaxial
2.3.2 Four-probe or Wenner probe method
2.3.3 C1760-12 ASTM test method
3 Result and discussion
3.1 Bulk resistivity (BR)
3.2 Surface resistivity (SR)
3.3 C1760-12 ASTM resistivity (ASR)
3.4 Relationship between BR, SR and ASR
3.5 Compressive test results
3.6 Relationship between resistivity and compressive strength
The relations between the compressive strength results and resistivity values of conductive concretes containing 0.5 vol% and 1 vol% CF were investigated. Contrary to the relations between the resistivity values, there was no significant relationship between the compressive strength and the resistivity values.
In this study, the resistivity values of the two-phase ECCs produced were measured by three different methods. According to the results measured by all three methods, the resistivity values of all ECCs decreased significantly compared to the control concrete specimen.
According to the results of compressive strength, CF and NCB additives used in this study had no side effects in the strength of conductive concretes. Also, the maximum compressive strength was achieved by increasing the NCB ratio to 10 wt% in conductive concretes containing 1 vol% CF. As observed during the mixture, the increase in the NCB content has a positive role in the development of workability.
The resistivity of the conductive concretes containing 0.5 vol% CF was reduced by increasing the NCB content by up to 6 wt%, and an increase in the resistivity was observed when 10 wt% NCB was added. The resistance reduction effect of NCB is more pronounced in conductive concretes containing 0.5 vol% CF. According to the results of all three resistances, the effect of the NCB was greater when 6 wt% was used.
Among the three methods, the two-point uniaxial method is the most common resistance measurement method in the literature. The resistivity values obtained with this method were compared with the results in the literature, and their suitability was determined.
According to the relationships of BR–SR, BR–ASR and SR–ASR, in the conductive concretes containing 0.5 vol% CF, the regression coefficient was over 0.8, and in the conductive concretes containing 1 vol% CF, the regression coefficients were exceeded 0.9. This means that the relations between the three resistivity values are strong.
In this study, the conductivity of CF, the recycled NCB expensive material obtained by pyrolysis method, has increased significantly. For future studies, it is recommended to investigate this waste material together with different materials in conductive concretes. This ensures that the environment is protected from waste tires and carbon black in large volumes. Since there is a good connection between the resistivity values measured by three different methods, the resistivity of the concrete can be measured by the method which can be measured in laboratory environments and the equations obtained in this study can be used to convert the resistivity.
The authors wish to thank Sakarya University for technical assistance and also thank the director of Sakarya INCI BETON for their support.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests
- 1.Parsian H, Tadayon M, Mostofinejad D, Avatefi F (2018) Experimental study on correlation between resistivity measurement methods in concrete. ACI Mater J 115(1):33–45Google Scholar
- 11.Sassani A, Ceylan H, Kim S, Arabzadeh A, Taylor PC, Gopalakrishnan K (2018) Development of carbon fiber-modified electrically conductive concrete for implementation in Des Moines International Airport. Case Stud Constr Mater 8:277–291Google Scholar
- 12.Tuan CY (2008) Implementation of conductive concrete for deicing (Roca Bridge). Nebraska Department of Transportation Research Reports. 25. Project No. SPR-P1(04) P565Google Scholar
- 13.Yehia S, Tuan CY (1999) Conductive concrete overlay for bridge deck deicing. Mater J 96(3):382–390Google Scholar
- 24.Tuutti K (1982) Corrosion of steel in concrete. Cement-och betonginst, StockholmGoogle Scholar
- 28.Dehghanpour H, Yilmaz K (2018) Mechanical and impact behavior on recycled steel fiber reinforced cementitious mortars. Russ J Build Constr Archit 3:67–84Google Scholar
- 29.Dehghanpour H, Yılmaz K (2018) Microstructure characterization of nano carbon black obtained by combustion method for use in concrete. In: 1st international symposium on light alloys and composite materials (ISLAC’18), UHAKS, Karabuk, Turkey, pp 511–512Google Scholar
- 30.ASTM D06 (1765) Standard classification system for carbon blacks used in rubber productsGoogle Scholar
- 33.Astm C (2012) Standard test method for bulk electrical conductivity of hardened concrete. ASTM, West ConshohockenGoogle Scholar