NRMCA Begins Study on Permeability Test Procedures

September 28, 2010

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association’s Research Laboratory (NRMCA-RL) has partnered in a Pooled Fund Study (PFS) sponsored by the Indiana Department of Transportation (IDOT) called Evaluation of Test Methods for Permeability (Transport) and Development of Performance Guidelines for Durability.

The PFS was recently approved after sufficient DOTs had joined.  Purdue University is the project contractor and NRMCA-RL is a subcontractor to Purdue. This PFS broadens the scope of an another NRMCA-RL project, An Evaluation of Performance-Based Alternatives to the Durability Provisions of the ACI 318 Building Code, that is being funded by the Portland Cement Association and the RMC Research & Education Foundation.

This study seeks to accomplish:

  • Evaluation of existing permeability (transport) test procedures;
  • Development of new or improvement of existing test procedures to evaluate permeability (transport) properties of concrete;
  • Correlation between permeability (transport) properties and measured material response to existing durability tests;
  • Develop guidelines to relate permeability, exposure conditions and field performance for use in specifications and quality control processes.

The findings of this PFS are expected to significantly help promote performance-based specifications in concrete. The overall value of this four-year study is over $1.2 million. The NRMCA research team will collaborate with Dr. Tommy Nantung, Indiana DOT and Professors Jason Weiss and Jan Olek with Purdue University and Professor Doug Hooton with University of Toronto, who will serve as a consultant to NRMCA.

A study advisory committee has also been set, consisting of the participating DOTs and the Federal Highway Administration. In addition, there is an industry review group to advise the NRMCA study.

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