This study aims to explore the applicability of diffuse ultrasound to the evaluation of water permeability and chloride ion penetrability of cracked concrete. Lab-scale experiments were conducted on disk-shaped concrete specimens, each having a different width of a penetrating crack that was generated by splitting tension along the centerline. The average crack width of each specimen was determined using an image binarization technique. The diffuse ultrasound test employed signals in the frequency range of 200 to 440 kHz. The water flow rate was measured using a constant water-head permeability method, and the chloride diffusion coefficient was determined using a modified steady-state migration method. Then, the effects of crack width on the diffusion characteristics of ultrasound (i.e., diffusivity, dissipation), water flow rate, and chloride diffusion coefficient are investigated. The correlations between the water flow rate and diffuse ultrasound parameters, and between the chloride diffusion coefficient and diffuse ultrasound parameters, are examined. The results suggest that diffuse ultrasound is a promising method for assessing the water permeability and chloride ion penetrability of cracked concrete.
Keywords: average crack width; chloride ion penetrability; diffuse ultrasound; water permeability.