2019 Volume 17 Issue 6 Pages 350-364
Most concrete structures service under external loads and the studies of the external-loading effects on chloride diffusivity in these porous media remain insufficient. This paper reports a relationship between porosity variation and external load inspired by poroelastic theory. This porosity-load relationship, together with an empirical equation for chloride diffusivity versus porosity, provides an explicit diffusivity-load model for saturated porous media. Without the specific assumptions of geometries of the pores and the matrix phases, the present model shows flexible expressions. Comprehensive analyses are performed to demonstrate the effects of external load and initial porosity on the porosity variation, chloride diffusion coefficient, penetration depth and durable time of specific cement-based samples. Two models reported in the literature are employed for the purpose of comparison. Overall, initial porosity is a primarily dominative factor affecting the chloride diffusivity, penetration profile and durability of cement-based porous materials. Within the elastic regime, external loads only influence the outcomes in limited degrees.