ASTM C1585 - 13

    Standard Test Method for Measurement of Rate of Absorption of Water by Hydraulic-Cement Concretes

    Active Standard ASTM C1585 | Developed by Subcommittee: C09.66

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.02


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 The performance of concrete subjected to many aggressive environments is a function, to a large extent, of the penetrability of the pore system. In unsaturated concrete, the rate of ingress of water or other liquids is largely controlled by absorption due to capillary rise. This test method is based on that developed by Hall3 who called the phenomenon “water sorptivity.”

    4.2 The water absorption of a concrete surface depends on many factors including: (a) concrete mixture proportions; (b) the presence of chemical admixtures and supplementary cementitious materials; (c) the composition and physical characteristics of the cementitious component and of the aggregates; (d) the entrained air content; (e) the type and duration of curing; (f) the degree of hydration or age; (g) the presence of microcracks; (h) the presence of surface treatments such as sealers or form oil; and (i) placement method including consolidation and finishing. Water absorption is also strongly affected by the moisture condition of the concrete at the time of testing.

    4.3 This method is intended to determine the susceptibility of an unsaturated concrete to the penetration of water. In general, the rate of absorption of concrete at the surface differs from the rate of absorption of a sample taken from the interior. The exterior surface is often subjected to less than intended curing and is exposed to the most potentially adverse conditions. This test method is used to measure the water absorption rate of both the concrete surface and interior concrete. By drilling a core and cutting it transversely at selected depths, the absorption can be evaluated at different distances from the exposed surface. The core is drilled vertically or horizontally.

    4.4 This test method differs from Test Method C642 in which the specimens are oven dried, immersed completely in water at 21°C, and then boiled under water for 5 h. In this test method, only one surface is exposed to water at room temperature while the other surfaces are sealed simulating water absorption in a member that is in contact with water on one side only. Test Method C642, on the other hand, is used to estimate the maximum amount of water that can be absorbed by a dry specimen and therefore provides a measure of the total, water permeable pore space.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method is used to determine the rate of absorption (sorptivity) of water by hydraulic cement concrete by measuring the increase in the mass of a specimen resulting from absorption of water as a function of time when only one surface of the specimen is exposed to water. The specimen is conditioned in an environment at a standard relative humidity to induce a consistent moisture condition in the capillary pore system. The exposed surface of the specimen is immersed in water and water ingress of unsaturated concrete is dominated by capillary suction during initial contact with water.

    1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    C31/C31M Practice for Making and Curing Concrete Test Specimens in the Field

    C42/C42M Test Method for Obtaining and Testing Drilled Cores and Sawed Beams of Concrete

    C125 Terminology Relating to Concrete and Concrete Aggregates

    C192/C192M Practice for Making and Curing Concrete Test Specimens in the Laboratory

    C642 Test Method for Density, Absorption, and Voids in Hardened Concrete

    C1005 Specification for Reference Masses and Devices for Determining Mass and Volume for Use in the Physical Testing of Hydraulic Cements

    C1202 Test Method for Electrical Indication of Concretes Ability to Resist Chloride Ion Penetration


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.100.30 (Concrete and concrete products)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 30111500(Concrete and mortars)


    DOI: 10.1520/C1585-13

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