Characterization of concrete properties from dielectric properties using ground penetrating radar

Wai Lok Lai, S. C. Kou, W. F. Tsang, Chi Sun Poon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the experimental results of a study of the relationships between light-weight (LWAC) and normal aggregate concrete (NAC) properties, as well as radar wave properties that are derived by using ground penetrating radar (GPR). The former (LWAC) refers to compressive strength, apparent porosity and saturated density, while the latter (NAC) refers to real part of dielectric permittivity (ε' or real permittivity) and wave energy level (E). Throughout the test period of the newly cast concrete cured for 90 days, the above mentioned material properties gradually changed which can be attributed to the effects of cement hydration, different types of aggregates and initial water to binder ratios. A number of plots describing various properties of concrete such as dielectric, strength and porosity perspectives were established. From these plots, we compare the characteristics of how much and how fast free water was turned to absorbed water in LWAC and NAC. The underlying mechanisms and a mechanistic model are then developed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-695
Number of pages9
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009


  • Absorbed/bound water
  • Free water
  • Ground penetrating radar
  • Lightweight and normal aggregate concrete
  • Real permittivity
  • Wave energy level

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Building and Construction


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