Factors That Influence Electrical Resistivity Measurements in Cementitious Systems Academic Article uri icon


  • The electrical resistivity of cement-based materials can be used in quality control or service life prediction as an indicator of the fluid transport properties of these materials. Although electrical tests have the advantage of being easy and rapid to perform, several key factors can influence the results: (a) specimen geometry, (b) specimen temperature, and (c) sample storage and conditioning. This paper addresses these issues and compares the measurements from several commercially available testing devices. First, the role of sample geometry is explained with the use of three common geometries: surface, uniaxial, and embedded electrodes. If the geometry is properly accounted for, measurements from different test geometries result in electrical resistivity values that are similar. Second, the role of sample temperature is discussed for both pore solution and uniaxial tests on cylinders. Third, the paper examines the importance of sample curing, storage, and conditioning. Sample storage and conditioning influence both the degree of hydration and the degree of saturation. The role of sample volume to solution volume is discussed, as this ratio may influence alkali leaching and pore solution conduction. This paper is intended to identify factors that influence the results of rapid electrical test measurements and to help identify areas of future research that are needed so that robust specifications and standard test methods can be developed. Standardization will enable electrical tests to provide rapid, accurate, repeatable measurements of concrete's electrical properties.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Spragg, R., Villani, C., Snyder, K., Bentz, D., Bullard, J. W., & Weiss, J.

citation count

  • 78

complete list of authors

  • Spragg, Robert||Villani, Chiara||Snyder, Ken||Bentz, Dale||Bullard, Jeffrey W||Weiss, Jason

publication date

  • January 2013