Microstructure-based relative humidity in cementitious system due to self-desiccation

Yong Zhang, Xiaowei Ouyang*, Zhengxian Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)


The internal relative humidity (RH) plays a crucial role in most of the concrete properties. Self-desiccation caused by continuous cement hydration is a major factor affecting the RH of concrete. This paper investigates the relationship between RH and microstructure for cementitious systems in the case of self-desiccation. A series of paste specimens prepared with different binder and water-binder-ratio (w/b) were cured under sealed conditions from 1 day to 1.5 years. The RH and microstructure of the paste specimens were measured. The microstructure characteristics under study include porosity, pore size, evaporable and non-evaporable water content. The results reveal that the RH of cementitious system drops to a great extent in the first 105 days' hydration and decreases slowly afterwards. The blended materials such as fly ash, slag or limestone powder have different influences on the RH. A mathematical model between RH and the average pore diameter is proposed for cementitious systems under self-desiccation, regardless of age, w/b or cement type.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1214
Number of pages15
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Average pore diameter
  • Cementitious system
  • Microstructure
  • Relative humidity
  • Self-desiccation


Dive into the research topics of 'Microstructure-based relative humidity in cementitious system due to self-desiccation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this