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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 154394, 10 pages
Research Article

Characterization of Moisture Diffusion in Cured Concrete Slabs at Early Ages

1Key Laboratory of Road and Traffic Engineering of the Ministry of Education, Tongji University, Shanghai 201804, China
2Key Laboratory of Highway Construction and Maintenance Technology in Loess Region, Shanxi Transportation Research Institute, No. 36 West Xutan Street, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030006, China

Received 6 January 2015; Accepted 28 April 2015

Academic Editor: Akihiko Kimura

Copyright © 2015 Xiao Zhang and Hongduo Zhao. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective of this paper is to investigate the characterization of moisture diffusion inside early-age concrete slabs subjected to curing. Time-dependent relative humidity (RH) distributions of three mixture proportions subjected to three different curing methods (i.e., air curing, water curing, and membrane-forming compounds curing) and sealed condition were measured for 28 days. A one-dimensional nonlinear moisture diffusion partial differential equation (PDE) based on Fick’s second law, which incorporates the effect of curing in the Dirichlet boundary condition using a concept of curing factor, is developed to simulate the diffusion process. Model parameters are calibrated by a genetic algorithm (GA). Experimental results show that the RH reducing rate inside concrete under air curing is greater than the rates under membrane-forming compound curing and water curing. It is shown that the effect of water-to-cement (w/c) ratio on self-desiccation is significant. Lower w/c ratio tends to result in larger RH reduction. RH reduction considering both effect of diffusion and self-desiccation in early-age concrete is not sensitive to w/c ratio, but to curing method. Comparison between model simulation and experimental results indicates that the improved model is able to reflect the effect of curing on moisture diffusion in early-age concrete slabs.