Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) technique – A solution to monitor moisture content in construction materials

Teresa Stingl Freitas, Ana Sofia Guimarães, Staf Roels, Vasco Peixoto de Freitas, Andrea Cataldo, T. Kalamees, J. Kurnitski
2020 E3S Web of Conferences  
Measuring moisture content in building materials is crucial for the correct diagnosis of buildings' pathologies and for the efficiency evaluation of the treatment solution applied. There are several different techniques available to measure the moisture content in construction materials. However, perform long-term minor-destructive measurements is still a great challenge. The TDR – Time Domain Reflectometry – technique is commonly used for moisture content measurements in soils, but is
more » ... ls, but is considered a relatively new method with regard to its application in construction materials. In the present state of research, the current use of the TDR technique for monitoring moisture content in all types of consolidated porous building materials is not possible yet. Indeed, the empirical conversion functions proposed for soils are mostly not suitable for building materials. Furthermore, to successfully use the TDR technique, a good contact between the TDR probe and the material under study is required, which may be difficult to achieve in hard materials. In this paper, the TDR technique was implemented in two limestone walls constructed in the lab to test experimentally the efficiency of a wall-base ventilation channel to speed up drying after a flood. Each wall was equipped with four two-rod TDR probes for continuous monitoring the moisture content in both situations: with and without the ventilation channel. All the equipment used, procedures followed during the drilling until the probes' final installation, as well as the individual calibration required for each probe are explained in detail. Instead of using unsuitable functions proposed for soils, the evaluation of the moisture content from the apparent relative dielectric permittivity measured was established using as reference method the gravimetric method. The results obtained suggest that the TDR technique is suitable for moisture content monitoring in consolidated porous building materials.
doi:10.1051/e3sconf/202017217001 fatcat:5shdveqarjf4nc6pkhoes73u6i