LETTER


A Critique on “Measurement of the Hygric Resistance of Concrete Blocks with Perfect Contact Interface: Influence of the Contact Area”



Hans Janssen1, *
1 Department of Civil Engineering, Building Physics and Sustainable Design, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium


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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Hans Janssen

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: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. 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 the Department of Civil Engineering, KU Leuven, Building Physics and Sustainable Design, Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 40, 3001 Leuven, Belgium; Tel: +32 1632 1326; E-mail: hans.janssen@kuleuven.be


Abstract

Background:

In March 2021, this journal published the article “Measurement of the hygric resistance of concrete blocks with perfect contact interface: influence of the contact area”. That article reports on a study on the impact of ‘perfect contact’ between concrete blocks on moisture absorption, with a focus on the impact of the sample cross-section.

Objective:

This critique aims at formulating several essential concerns on the hygric aspects of that article, thus expressing the discusser’s reservations on the reliability of the presented outcomes in particular and the published article in general.

Methods:

The data, as provided in the graphs of the critiqued article, are digitally extracted and further analysed by the discusser.

Results:

That analysis results in serious concerns with regard to 1) the magnitude of the quantified post-interface flows, 2) the distinguishability of the moisture absorption in the monolithic and perfect contact samples, 3) the robustness of the knee-point identification algorithm, 4) the dependability of the capillary absorption measurements, and 5) the consistency of the capillary absorption processing. These are finally translated into 8 concrete questions to be addressed by the authors of the critiqued article in order to placate these doubts and establish the reliability of their work.

Conclusion:

This critique formulates appreciable apprehension with respect to an earlier publication in the journal and invites its authors to respond to that via answering the 8 concrete questions. If not satisfactory, then the critiqued article’s findings cannot be considered reliable, and the journal should reconsider its prior publication.

Keywords: Hygric resistance, Interface resistance, Moisture transfer, Perfect contact, Capillary absorption, Critique, COPE.