Materials and Structures

, Volume 47, Issue 1–2, pp 351–365 | Cite as

Simulating moisture distribution within concrete pavement slabs: model development and sensitivity study

Original Article


This study simulates internal relative humidity (RH) distributions for in-service jointed plain concrete pavement slabs. A one-dimensional isothermal mass transport model is used to predict the concrete slab’s RH distribution through its depth. At the top of the slab, a new statistical algorithm is applied to estimate the occurrences of drying and wetting cycles. During drying cycles, both local wind speed and ambient RH govern the slab surface’s moisture convection. During the wetting cycle, the moisture at the surface is treated as a fixed saturated condition. The feasibility of this model is verified through laboratory observations of internal RH in concrete prisms as well as through field measurements of internal RH for an in-service concrete pavement. Using the developed model, predictions of internal RH distributions of in-service slabs are centered on their sensitivity to local weather conditions, including factors such as the ambient RH, wind speed, and rainfall, especially for slabs in arid regions.


Relative humidity (RH) Wetting and drying cycles Wind speed Rainfall Moisture diffusivity Concrete slab 


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA

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