Document Type


Publication Date


Report Number


Granting or Sponsoring Agency

Federal Highway Administration and Pooled Fund Partners, U.S. Department of Transportation

Research Focus Area

Transportation Engineering


Concrete durability may be considered as the ability to maintain serviceability over the design life without significant deterioration, and is generally a direct function of the mixture permeability. Therefore, reducing permeability will improve the potential durability of a given mixture and, in turn, improve the serviceability and longevity of the structure. Given the importance of this property, engineers often look for methods that can decrease permeability. One approach is to add chemical compounds known as integral waterproofing admixtures or permeability-reducing admixtures, which help fill and block capillary pores in the paste. Currently, there are no standard approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of permeability-reducing admixtures or to compare different products in the US. A review of manufacturers’ data sheets shows that a wide range of test methods have been used, and rarely are the same tests used on more than one product. This study investigated the fresh and hardened properties of mixtures containing commercially available hydrophilic and hydrophobic types of permeability-reducing admixtures. The aim was to develop a standard test protocol that would help owners, engineers, and specifiers compare different products and to evaluate their effects on concrete mixtures that may be exposed to hydrostatic or nonhydrostatic pressure. In this experimental program, 11 concrete mixtures were prepared with a fixed water-to-cement ratio and cement content. One plain mixture was prepared as a reference, 5 mixtures were prepared using the recommended dosage of the different permeability-reducing admixtures, and 5 mixtures were prepared using double the recommended dosage. Slump, air content, setting time, compressive and flexural strength, shrinkage, and durability indicating tests including electrical resistivity, rapid chloride penetration, air permeability, permeable voids, and sorptivity tests were conducted at various ages. The data are presented and recommendations for a testing protocol are provided.



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