Measurement of the Hygric Resistance of Concrete Blocks with Perfect Contact Interface: Influence of the Contact Area

António C. Azevedo1, 2, João M.P.Q. Delgado2, Klayne.K.S. Silva1, André L.M.S. Leal1, Ana S. Guimarães2, *, Isabel Ribeiro2
1 Departamento de Engenharia Civil, Universidade Católica de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
2 CONSTRUCT-LFC, Departamento de Engenharia Civil, Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n; 4200-465 Porto, Portugal

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© 2021 Azevedo et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at CONSTRUCT-LFC, Departamento de Engenharia Civil, Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n; 4200-465 Porto, Portugal;



Concrete sealing blocks are not only used in Brazil but worldwide. T he knowledge of the material properties in the presence of moisture becomes necessary to study the durability of buildings.


An experimental study was carried out in order to analyse the effect of contact area on the capillary absorption coefficient of concrete samples used in sealing blocks, according to several standards: NBR 9779 (2012), EN 1015-18 (2002), ISO 15148 (2002) and ASTM C1794 (2015). Two types of specimens were analysed; monolithic samples and samples with a perfect contact interface. The monolithic samples were also subjected to axial and radial compression in order to enhance the capacity of masonry.


The experimental results for the samples with perfect contact interface indicate that the water absorption before the interface presents similar behaviour to the monolithic samples. However, it is possible to observe a reduction of the absorption rate when water reaches the interface due to the hygric resistance. In other words, the moisture transport is significantly retarded by the existence of an interface, i.e., the discontinuity of moisture content across the interface indicated that there was a difference in capillary pressure across the interface. Also, the interface contact area does not greatly influence the water-resistance values.


Finally, the Hygric Resistance values (HR), in multilayer building components, with perfect contact interface are calculated using the “knee point” methodology.

Keywords: Concrete, Water resistance, Capillary absorption, Moisture, Hygric resistance values, Sealing blocks.