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May/June 2009

Ionic Conductivity

A proposed new ASTM International standard, WK22233, Test Method for Indication of Concrete’s Ionic Conductivity, a five-minute nondestructive test, has the potential to replace a destructive six-hour test that requires several hours of preparation time.

The proposed standard is being developed by Subcommittee C09.66 on Concrete’s Resistance to Fluid Penetration, part of ASTM International Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates.

“On a practical basis, the proposed test method is a quick nondestructive means to get an idea of how permeable a concrete is to chloride ingress,” says Neal Berke, research and development fellow, Grace Construction Products, and a longtime ASTM member. “The impetus behind the development of WK22233 is a growing set of data indicating that concrete conductivity is related to the diffusion of chloride and movement of water through concrete.”

Berke also notes that bulk conductivity is useful for the design of cathodic protection systems and for concrete used in stray voltage applications. Specifiers and users of concrete, as well as testing laboratories and researchers, would be the primary users of WK22233.

Subcommittee C09.66 invites interested volunteers to participate in its activities, which include an upcoming interlaboratory test for WK2233. Other work includes the development of proposed standard techniques related to fluid flow and chloride ingress that can be used to obtain data for use in life cycle prediction models.


Technical Information: Neal Berke, Grace Construction Products, Cambridge, Mass.

Phone: 617-498-4827

ASTM Staff: W. Scott Orthey

Phone: 610-832-9730