U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations



Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-12-0005
Project Name:   Feasibility of Using Surface Resistivity of Concrete for Measuring Permeability
Project Status:   Active
Start Date:  January 5, 2012
End Date:  December 28, 2013
Contact Information
Last Name:  Ardani
First Name:  Ahmad
Telephone:  202-493-3422
E-mail:  ahmad.ardani@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:   Pavement Materials Team [HRDI-10]
Program:   Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment
Laboratory:   Concrete Laboratory
Project detail
Roadmap/Focus area(s):   Infrastructure Research and Technology Strategic Plan and Roadmap
Project Description:   Performing surface resistivity (SR) is much quicker than the traditionally used Rapid Chloride Permeability Test (RCPT), and requires less labor. It is also portable and less expensive than the Rapid Chloride Permeability Test (RCPT). This study will look into establishing a correlation between these two devices. In the second phase of this study, the impact of several deicing chemicals on the transport properties of cementitious materials will be evaluated.
Goals:   The key project objective is to establish and validate a correlation between Surface Resistivity (SR) and the Rapid Chloride Permeability Test (RCPT) for measuring permeability. The second objective is to evaluate the impact of several deicing chemicals on the transport properties of cementitious materials.
Background Information:   The surface resistivity test method consists of measuring the resistivity of a concrete cylinder with the Wenner probe array. An alternating current (AC) potential difference is applied in the outer pins of the Wenner array, generating current flow in the concrete. The potential difference generated by this current is measured by the two inner probes. The current used and potential obtained, along with the area affected, are used to calculate the resistivity of the concrete. The resistivity, in Ohms-cm, has been found to be related to the resistance of the specimen to chloride ion penetration.
Product Type:   Research report
Test Methodology:   Uses Wenner probe array in measuring permeability of saturated concrete cylinder.
Expected Benefits:   The expected benefit is a faster and less expensive way for measuring permeability.
Deliverables: Name: Application of Surface Resistivity (SR) for Measuring Permeability in Concrete
Product Type(s): Research report, Techbrief
Description: This test method measures the electrical resistivity of concrete samples as a rapid indication of their resistance to chloride ion penetration.
Project Findings:   The interim results indicated a very good correlation between surface resistivity and rapid chloride permeability test.
FHWA Topics:   Research/Technologies--Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC)
TRT Terms:   Permeability
FHWA Disciplines:   Pavement and Materials
Subject Areas:   Research


Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101