Influence of Cracking on Moisture Uptake in Strain-Hardening Cementitious Composites

B. Savija1, M. Lukovi1, E. Schlangen1


1 Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences, Section of Materials & Environment - Microlab, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, the Netherlands



Strain-hardening cementitious composites (SHCCs) are a class of cement-based materials that show strain-hardening behavior
in tension. This is achieved by multiple microcracking, which results in a tightly spaced crack pattern with relatively small crack widths
(50–80 μm, in general) and high strain capacity (up to 4–5%). Because of their ductile behavior and tight crack widths, SHCCs are commonly
used for concrete repair applications. However, because of the tight crack width and crack spacing, moisture uptake by capillary suction can
take place very fast. This could result in rapid access of deleterious substances, such as chloride ions, resulting in corrosion initiation. In this
study, X-ray tomography is used for monitoring and quantification of water uptake in SHCC. Specimens were first loaded to different strain
levels in uniaxial tension. Then, they were subjected to a capillary suction test. The performed test was subsequently modeled using a lattice

DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)NM.2153-5477.0000114. © 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme
for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 309451.
Friday the 16th. © 2013 Universiteit Gent.