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Journal of Building Engineering 20 (2018) 81–93

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Journal of Building Engineering


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jobe

Thermal conductivity of concrete – A review T


a,b a,b,⁎ a,b
Iman Asadi , Payam Shafigh , Zahiruddin Fitri Bin Abu Hassan ,

Norhayati Binti Mahyuddina,b,
a
Department of Building Surveying, Faculty of Built Environment, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
b
Center for Building, Construction & Tropical Architecture (BuCTA), Faculty of Built Environment, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A R T I C LE I N FO A B S T R A C T

Keywords: The thermal conductivity (k-value) of cement-based materials like concrete is an important factor when con-
Concrete sidering the amount of heat transfer through conduction. The amount of heat loss through walls and roofs has a
Lightweight aggregate concrete direct effect on the energy consumption of buildings. The steady state and transient methods are considered the
Density two main thermal conductivity measurement approaches. The moisture content, temperature, type of aggregate,
Heat transfer
type of cementitious material and density of concrete are influential factors on the thermal conductivity. The aim
Thermal property
of this paper is to review the techniques most commonly used to measure the thermal conductivity of concrete as
Thermal conductivity
well as to consider the factors affecting the thermal conductivity of cement-based materials. In addition, a
general equation for predicting the thermal conductivity of concrete is proposed in this study based on data
reported by researchers. The results of this review indicate that most researchers have measured the k-value of
cement-based materials based on transient methods. The reported k-value in saturated conditions is higher than
in dry conditions. Moreover, the measured k-value exhibits a declining trend with increasing temperature. It is
concluded that using lightweight concrete in structural and non-structural building envelopes is a valuable
method of reducing the amount of heat transfer and energy consumption owing to the lower k-value of light-
weight concrete compared to normal weight concrete.

1. Introduction demonstrates its heat conduction capability [7,8]. The energy con-
sumption of buildings is dependent on the thermal conductivity values
Energy conservation is required on account of the growing popu- of the building materials [9]. Materials with low and moderate thermal
lation and limited natural energy sources. One third of the total energy conductivity, such as mineral wool (0.03–0.04 W/m °K), cellulose in-
consumption and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to sulation (0.04–0.05 W/m °K), cork (0.04–0.05 W/m °K), expanded
buildings in most countries [1,2]. Since most people spend around 90% polystyrene (EPS) (0.03–0.04 W/m.°K), polyurethane (0.02–0.03 W/
of their lives indoors [3], energy conservation and thermal comfort in m °K), wood (0.14 W/m °K) and ceramic tiles (1.10 W/m °K) can reduce
buildings are controversial topics. The energy required for building the energy usage in buildings [10,11].
cooling and heating and thermal comfort depend greatly on the thermo- It is possible to determine the amount of heat flow per unit area over
physical properties of the construction materials [4]. a surface by applying Fourier's law [12] as shown in Eq. (1).
Ventilation and fabric heat loss are two reasons for heat loss in
∂T ∂T ∂T
buildings. Ventilation heat loss entails convective heat transfer through q = −k∇T = −k ⎛i +j
⎜ +k ⎞ ⎟

air replacement by heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) ⎝ ∂x ∂y ∂z ⎠ (1)


systems. However, fabric heat loss is related to conductive heat loss when the heat flow is only in one direction (Fig. 1), the equation is
through walls, roof, windows and floors. simplified to:
Heat transfer is a vector quantity and occurs through conduction,
∂T
convection and radiation [5]. Conductive heat transfer in solids is a q = −k
∂x (2)
mixture of molecular vibrations and energy transport by free electrons
[6]. Thermal conductivity (k-value) is a material's property that The heat flow rate is:


Corresponding authors at: Department of Building Surveying, Faculty of Built Environment, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
E-mail addresses: asadi8564@gmail.com, asadi@siswa.um.edu.my (I. Asadi), pshafigh@gmail.com, pshafigh@um.edu.my (P. Shafigh),
hayati@um.edu.my (N.B. Mahyuddin).

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2018.07.002
Received 22 April 2018; Received in revised form 2 July 2018; Accepted 3 July 2018
Available online 06 July 2018
2352-7102/ © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
I. Asadi et al. Journal of Building Engineering 20 (2018) 81–93

Nomenclature FA fly ash
FAC fly ash cenosphere
A area (m2) FC foamed concrete
C moisture content by mass (%) FRSCC fiber reinforced self-consolidating concrete
k thermal conductivity (W/m °K) GLECC green lightweight engineered cementitious composites
Q heat flow (W) HGP hot guarded plate
q heat flux (W/m2) HIPS high impact polystyrene
T temperature (°C) HVAC heating, ventilation and air conditioning
V volume percentage (%) IAQ indoor air quality
∇T temperature gradient (°K/m) IOTs iron ore tailings
∂T temperature difference (°K) LFC lightweight-foamed concrete
∂x distance (m) LWA lightweight aggregate
Φ porosity (%) LWC lightweight concrete
ρ density (kg/m3) NWC normal weight concrete
OPS oil palm shell
Subscripts and superscripts OPSFC oil palm shell foamed concrete
OPSFGC oil palm shell foamed geopolymer concrete
a ambient PCM phase change material
dry dry condition PHS plane heat source
w water SCC self-consolidating concrete
SCMs supplementary cementations materials
Acronyms SF silica fume
SHC sprayed hemp concrete
AAC autoclaved aerated concrete SLWAC structural lightweight aggregate concrete
ALC aerated lightweight concrete SSD saturated surface density
APC air permeable concrete TLPP two linear parallel probe
BA bottom ash TPS transient plane source
BFS blast furnace slag ULCCs ultra-lightweight cement composites
DPF date palm fibers w/c water-cement ratio
EPS expanded polystyrene

Q = qA (3) affects heat transfer by conduction through concrete [6]. Concrete with
low thermal conductivity reduces the heat transfer and energy con-
Therefore, the equation is recast as: sumption in buildings. Real et al. [17] reported that applying structural
∂T lightweight aggregate concrete (SLWAC) in buildings in European
Q = −kA countries can reduce 15% of the heating energy compared to normal
∂x (4)
weight concrete (NWC).
Concrete is a common material all over the world and more than ten Several steady and transient methods can be used to measure the
billion tons of concrete are produced every year [14]. It is expected that thermal conductivity of materials. Different methods may result in
the demand for concrete will increase to 18 billion tones by 2050 [15]. different thermal conductivity values [18]. However, there is in-
Concrete is widely used in buildings, bridges, parking structures, in- sufficient discussion in literature on suitable methods for measuring the
dustrial pavements and other structures. Because of the widespread thermal conductivity of concrete. Hence, this paper reviews measure-
usage of this material, investigators have been considering its en- ment methods for the thermal conductivity of concrete based on the
gineering properties [16]. Thermal conductivity, specific heat and literature. Selecting a proper method for measuring the thermal con-
thermal diffusivity are deemed thermo-physical properties of concrete. ductivity of concrete is important to achieve accurate values for cal-
Thermal conductivity is the most important thermal property that culating the energy consumption of buildings. In addition, it should be
noted that several factors affect the k-value of concrete. This review
discusses the consequence of each factor on the thermal conductivity of
concrete. Taking these factors into consideration during concrete
casting and utilizing concrete in buildings can lead to more energy-
efficient and sustainable buildings.

2. Concrete thermal conductivity measurement methods

Thermal conductivity is the property of a material pertaining to heat


conduction. Steady state and transient heat transfer are considered
different heat transfer conditions across materials [19]. Steady state is a
constant heat transfer, whereby the temperature or heat flow is not
dependent on time. The transient method is dependent on time and
temperature changes over time. The methods selected for thermal
conductivity measurement differ based on the following two funda-
mental heat transfer conditions.
The steady state method is commonly chosen for homogenous ma-
Fig. 1. Schematic of one-dimensional heat transfer by conduction [13]. terials. However, this method takes more time but the k-value achieved

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I. Asadi et al. Journal of Building Engineering 20 (2018) 81–93

is more accurate than with the transient method. The transient method 2.3. Transient hot wire method
is normally used for heterogeneous materials with moisture content
[20]. An advantage of the transient method is the possibility to consider The hot wire method is a transient method based on measuring the
moisture content but a disadvantage is the need to repeat the test enhanced temperature at a specific distance from a hot wire, which is a
several times to obtain precise results [21]. linear heat source inside the test material. The hot wire probe method
Porosity has a significant role in the thermal conductivity of mate- employs the principle of the transient hot wire technique [38]. Fur-
rials. The thermal conductivity of a porous material can be determined thermore, the probe method is the modified version of the transient hot
by the thermal conductivity of the fluid phase (kf) and solid phase (kS) wire method. Fig. 6 displays the schematic principle of the hot wire
[22]. The two linear parallel probe (TLPP), plane heat source (PHS) and method. Researchers have selected this method to measure the k-value
hot guarded plate (HGP) are some methods of measuring the thermal of concrete using bottom ash (BA), fly ash (FA) and silica fume (SF) as
conductivity of porous materials [23–25]. cement replacement, air permeable concrete (APC) and various types of
Fig. 2 represents a summary of available measurement methods for lightweight aggregate concrete [39–49].
the thermal conductivity of concrete. The percentages of different k-
value measurement methods used in 30 studies are shown in Fig. 3.
2.4. Transient plane source (TPS) method
In summary, researchers have used four well-known techniques
most frequently to measure the k-value of cement-based materials. The
With this method, thermal conductivity is measured based on the
availability and cost of equipment, time for experimental measurements
power input and time dependent variation for both transient plane and
and measurement ability for moist specimens may be some of the
transient line sources. The transient plane source method is used to
reasons for using transient instead of steady state methods.
measure the in-plane and through-plane thermal conductivity of ma-
terials. In this method a flat sensor is used, whose temperature is in-
2.1. Steady state boxes method
creased while electrical current passes through the sensor (Fig. 7). By
recording the temperature against time it is possible to calculate the
The boxes method is a steady state method for determining the
thermal properties of the material. Various researchers have used TPS
thermal conductivity of concrete based on the system's energy evalua-
to determine the changes in the thermal conductivity of sand concretes
tion. This technique has been developed in the laboratory for thermal
by adding wood shavings. They have also studied the effect of moisture
and solar studies at the Claude Bernard University-Lyon I in France
content on the thermal conductivity of autoclaved aerated concrete
[26,27]. The device contains one hot chamber and one cold chamber.
(AAC) and the effect of different aggregates on the k-value of concrete
The specimen is placed between the hot and cold sides. Based on the
with relative humidity in the range of 10–30% [51–54].
second law of thermodynamics, energy is transferred from the hot to
In conclusion, the application of certain methods and devices may
the cold side. The k-value is thus achieved by calculating the difference
be dependent on the availability of certain equipment in the research
in air temperature between the cold and hot sides [26,27]. A schematic
lab. Besides, different sample shapes and sizes are used based on the
of the hot box method is shown in Fig. 4. In two studies boxes method
testing requirements of a specific device. However, the thermal con-
were selected for evaluating the effect of moisture content and hu-
ductivity of concrete is not significantly related to the specimen's shape
midity on Pozzolan lightweight concrete and wood-concrete-composite
and size [55]. Table 1 lists the specimen sizes, testing ages, measure-
specimens [26,28]. Other researchers also used this method to measure
ment techniques and scientific standard used in previous studies.
the k-value of an insulator containing vegetable fiber [27].

2.2. Steady state hot plate method 3. Factors affecting the thermal conductivity of concrete

The guarded hot plate is a useful technique for assessing the thermal Concrete is a heterogeneous and permeable solid material. The heat
conductivity of insulation materials. The test samples are fixed between transfer in concrete material at normal operating temperatures is
hot and cold plates. A constant heat stream flows over the test samples. mainly by conduction. The properties of concrete are influenced by the
Thermal conductivity is determined through the heat flow and the spatial spreading and volume ratio of its elements, such as aggregate,
difference in mean temperature between the specimen surfaces [29]. water cement and voids. The voids inside concrete have an important
Gandage et al. [20] measured the thermal conductivity of specimens in effect on the mechanical and thermal properties of concrete [59].
five temperature ranges (from 30 °C to 80 °C) with this method. In an- Changes in specific properties of concrete cause different thermal
other study, the cold plate temperature was set at 18 °C and the hot side conductivity values.
was kept at 40 °C [30]. Kim et al. [56] considered the effect of seven factors on the thermal
In a different study, this method was used by repeating the thermal conductivity of cement paste, mortar and concrete. The seven para-
conductivity measurement of samples every 10 min over a period of meters are the humidity condition of the specimen, age, temperature,
24 h [31]. In one research, this method was employed for samples water-cement (w/c) ratio, fine aggregate fraction, type of admixture
containing cement, natural river sand, gypsum powder and paraffin
particles as phase change materials (PCMs). Two specimens of the
composite were placed on the heating panel. The specimens were
cooled by disc-shaped cooling blocks. Thermal paste was used on both
sides of the specimens to minimize heat loss at the interface, heating
panel as well as the cooling block. A voltage regulator (0–250 V) sup-
plied constant heat flux (0–40 W) to the heating panel [32]. The k-value
measured for concrete containing moisture (up to 3% by volume)
through this method was similar to oven-dry condition [33]. A sche-
matic of the hot plate method is shown in Fig. 5. A number of re-
searchers have utilized this method to measure the thermal con-
ductivity of self-consolidating concrete (SCC), oil palm shell foamed
concrete (OPFS), oil palm shell foamed geopolymer concrete (OPSFGC),
aerated lightweight concrete (ALC), recycled glass concrete, poly-
styrene foamed concrete and PCM concrete [20,30,31,34–37]. Fig. 2. Different thermal conductivity measurement methods.

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Fig. 6. Schematic of the hot wire method [50].

Fig. 3. Percentages of thermal conductivity measurement methods employed in the thermal insulation of structures [64,65]. Density, loading tem-
previous studies. perature and w/c ratio in the early stages of hydration influence the
thermal conductivity of LWC significantly [54].
In summary, the literature addresses various parameters affecting
Hot Chamber Cold Chamber
the k-value of cement-based materials. The subsequent section reviews
the effect of moisture, temperature, type of aggregate, type of ce-
mentitious materials, incorporating PCM and density on the k-value of
cement-based materials.

3.1. Moisture content and temperature

The thermal conductivity of concrete in saturated condition is


greater than in dry state due to the thermal conductivity of water,
which is 25 times higher than air [28,57]. Moreover, the thermal
conductivity of water used in mixtures is reliant on the temperature.
Fig. 8 depicts the thermal conductivity of water under saturation
pressure and different temperatures. According to the figure, increasing
the temperature of water under saturated pressure increases the
thermal conductivity value.
It should be noted that the effect of moisture content and tem-
perature on thermal conductivity is related to the fundamental features
Fig. 4. Schematic of the box method. of the material, such as its internal pore construction and density
[66,67]. To minimize the effect of moisture on thermal conductivity,
experimental measurements can be conducted in oven-dry condition
[47]. Zhang et al. [8] revealed that the k-value of cement mortar and
concrete in saturated condition is about 70% and 50% higher than in
dry condition, respectively. However, greater increments have been
reported in other studies. For example, Duran-Herrera et al. [68] re-
ported that the k-value of Portland cement-fly ash mortar with light-
weight aggregate for dry and saturated samples is 0.16 and 0.31 W/
m °K, respectively.
In general, increasing the moisture content increases the thermal
conductivity value [69,70]. Valore [71] reported that the k-value in-
creased about 6% with each 1% increment in the moisture of concrete.
However, Steiger and Hurd [72] revealed that the k-value of concrete
increased by 5% with a 1% increment in unit weight of concrete due to
the water absorption.
Fig. 5. Schematic of the hot plate method. The k-value of fly ash concrete at 350 °C increased from 1.151 to
1.603 W/m °K when the micro-environment relative humidity was en-
hanced from 20% to 100% [73]. It seems the micro-environment re-
and total aggregate volume fraction. Moisture, the specimen's condition
lative humidity in this research indicates a condition in which the hu-
and aggregate volume fraction appeared to be the main effective factors
midity percentage inside the concrete is the same as in the control
on the thermal conductivity of concrete. However, the most effective
chamber.
factors on the k-value of mortar and cement paste are the w/c ratio and
Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) is a lightweight concrete and is
type of admixture.
widely used as a thermal insulation material. The k-value of AAC is in
Previous studies revealed that the type of aggregate, moisture
the range of 0.09–0.2, while its density varies between 450 kg/m3 and
content, density, cement paste percentage, porosity, supplementary
750 kg/m3 [74]. Jin et al. [52] evaluated the effect of moisture content
cementitious materials (SCMs), environmental temperature, and the
on the thermal conductivity of AAC. They measured the thermal con-
measurement method and equipment are the main factors governing
ductivity of specimens in dry state by increasing the moisture content
the thermal conductivity value of concrete [23,24,40,48,57,60–63]. It
up to 100% at a constant temperature. The results indicated that the
has been found that lightweight concrete (LWC) is a useful material for
thermal conductivity value of AAC increased with increasing moisture

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Fig. 7. Transient plane source method [54].

content. Based on the results, it was found that 15% moisture content is studies, the thermal conductivity of cement-based materials has been
critical in AAC. The k-value increased more significantly when the measured in oven-dry or saturated condition. However, in real settings
moisture content was less than 15%. Jin et al. also proposed the fol- concrete does not remain in saturated condition and may not reach
lowing equation to predict the thermal conductivity of AAC as a func- completely dry-oven condition. In general, the k-value of concrete in-
tion of porosity and moisture content. creases with higher moisture content. More studies should consider k-
value increment according to different types and proportions of ag-
⎧ (0.0082ϕ + 0.0005) C + 3.7ϕ2 − 6.74ϕ + 3.17, gregates, cement replacement, w/c ratio and various temperatures.

⎪ 0 ≤ C < 15% Due to a series of chemical and physical changes at elevated tem-
k=
⎨ (−0.0281ϕ + 0.0208) C + 3.7ϕ2 − 6.33ϕ + 2.89, 15% peratures, the k-value of concrete changes as well. It was reported that
⎪ the thermal conductivity of concrete and mortar decreases significantly
⎪ ≤ C < 100% (5)
⎩ as the temperature of concrete increases [78].
In addition, the thermal conductivity of lightweight-foamed con- Wang et al. [73] evaluated the impact of temperature and relative
crete as a function of the thermal conductivity of water can be esti- humidity on the k-value of fly ash concrete and conventional concrete.
mated with the following equation [75]. They revealed that the k-value of fly ash concrete reduced from 1.69 to
0.95 W/m °K with temperature increment from 20 °C to 550 °C.
ka = Vw k w + (1 − Vw ) kdry (6) Dos Santos [79] evaluated the thermal conductivity of conventional
aluminous refractory concrete at various temperatures (from room
where ka is the thermal conductivity of lightweight-foamed concrete in
temperature to 1000 °C). Dos Santos reported that the thermal con-
ambient temperature, Vw is the volume percentage of water, kw is the
ductivity increased between room temperature and 60 °C, after which,
thermal conductivity of water and kdry is the thermal conductivity of
and up to 500 °C, the thermal conductivity reduced significantly.
dry lightweight-foamed concrete.
However, it gradually increased when the temperature rose from 500 to
Boukhattem et al. [76] evaluated the effect of humidity on the
1000 °C. Shin et al. [80] also reported that the thermal conductivity of
thermal conductivity of mortar containing different percentages of date
concrete at 500 °C was 50% lower than at room temperature.
palm fibers (DPF). They reported that the k-value of DPF mortar in
Khaliq and Kodur [81] measured the thermal conductivity of self-
saturation state may reach 2.5 times its value in dry state. The thermal
consolidating concrete (SCC) and fiber reinforced self-consolidating
conductivity of mortar containing different ratios of DPF mesh (MDPF)
concrete (FRSCC) at 20–800 °C. The thermal conductivity of both SCC
based on volumetric water content can be estimated with the following
and FRSCC decreased from 20 to 400 °C. However, there was a marginal
equations.
increment in the thermal conductivity value when the temperature
kMDPF 21% = 0.614e 0.021Vw (R2 = 0.90) (7) increased from 400 to 500 °C. Finally, the thermal conductivity reduced
at temperatures over 500 °C and up to 800 °C. The k-values of SCC and
kMDPF 31% = 0.426e 0.026Vw (R2 = 0.84) (8) FRSCC reported ranged from 2.8 to 3.5 W/m °K at room temperature
and from 1.1 to 1.6 W/m °K at 400 °C. These values are roughly in the
kMDPF 48% = 0.328e 0.035Vw (R2 = 0.93) (9)
range of 1.4–1.7 W/m °K at 500 °C and 0.2–0.9 W/m °K at 800 °C. Khaliq
kMDPF 51% = 0.268e 0.026Vw (R2 = 0.94) (10) and Kodur suggested the following relation between thermal con-
ductivity and temperature.
Taoukil et al. [26] investigated the influence of moisture content on
the thermal conductivity of wood concrete composite. Wood fiber k=⎧
3.12 − 0.0045T , 20°C ≤ T ≤ 400 °C
concrete is a composite material used in different applications, such as ⎩3 − 0.0025T ,
⎨ 400°C ≤ T ≤ 800 °C (11)
ground formwork, screeds and suspended ceilings. Their results showed
that thermal conductivity increased with increasing water content. The
thermal conductivity of wood concrete material is two to three times 3.2. Type of aggregate
greater in saturated condition compared to dry condition. In addition,
the study demonstrated that the thermal conductivity of this composite Aggregate comprises about 60–80% of the volume of concrete [54].
material decreased by adding wood particles. It is possible to change the k-value of concrete by using different types
It should be noted that there are insufficient data regarding the of aggregate [56]. The k-value of concrete increased by raising the
relation between moisture content and the k-value of concrete. In most coarse aggregate volume fraction and keeping the sand ratio unchanged

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I. Asadi et al.

Table 1
Summary of thermal conductivity measurement techniques.
Measurement techniques Description Specimen size Testing age (days) Reported standards by Ref.
researchers

Steady state boxes method Effect of humidity on the k-value of pozzolan lightweight concrete NA 28 NA [28]
Influence of moisture content on the k-value of wood concrete composite 270 × 270 × 20 (mm3) NA [26]
The k-value of the insulator by adding vegetable fibers 270 × 270 × 60 (mm3) 28 [27]
Steady state hot plate method The k-value of self-compacting concrete (SCC) by using Perlite lightweight aggregate Cylindrical 180 mm × 15 mm NA [20]
The k-value of oil palm shell foamed lightweight concrete (OPFS) 300 × 300 × 50 (mm3) 28 [30]
The k-value of oil palm shell foamed geopolymer lightweight concrete (OPSFGC) 300 × 300 × 55 (mm3) 28 [31]
The k-value of novel form-stable fiber composite concrete NA NA [32]
The relationship between the k-values of concrete, cement mortar and coarse aggregate 250 × 250 × 40 (mm3) 28 ASTM C177, [8]
The k-value of newspaper sandwiched aerated lightweight concrete (ALC) 300 × 300 × 50 (mm3) NA BS EN 12664 [34]
ISO 8301
The k-value of concrete using crushed recycled glass as a fine aggregate 300 × 300 × 30 (mm3) 28 [35]
The k-value of foamed lightweight and polystyrene foamed concretes 200 × 200 × 40 (mm3) NA [36]
The heat capacity and k-value of inhomogeneous concrete with incorporated microencapsulated- 150 × 150 × 80 (mm3) About 150 [37]
PCM
Transient hot wire method Effect of different parameters on the k-value of cement paste, mortar and concretes 100 × 100 × 150 (mm3) 3,7,14,28 [56]
The k-value of concrete pavements Cylindrical specimen (ϕ100 × 200 mm2). 28 [57]
The k-value of lightweight aggregate concrete 200 × 200 × 300 (mm3) 21 [58]
The k-value of concrete using bottom ash (BA) as cement replacement prism cast 40 × 40 × 160 (mm3) 7 [39]

86
cube cast 50 × 50 × 50 (mm3)
The k-value of air permeable concrete (APC) as wall construction material 100 mm in diameter and 100 mm high 7 [40]
The k-value of hemp concretes 150 × 100 × 50 (mm3) NA [41]
The k-value of modified waste expanded polystyrene (MEPS) lightweight aggregate concretes 40 × 110 × 160 (mm3) NA ASTM D 5930, [42]
ASTM D 5334,
ASTM D 5930-01,
The k-value of expanded perlite lightweight aggregate concrete by mineral admixtures 100 × 80 × 40 (mm3) NA ASTM C 1113-90 [43]
Effect of blast furnace slag (BFS), silica fume (SF), class C fly ash (FA), SF+FA, SF+BFS and 100 × 80 × 40 (mm3) 28 [44]
FA+BFS on the k-value
The k-value of diatomite and pumice lightweight aggregate concretes Cylindrical 50 mm × 100 mm 28 [45]
The k-value of low-strength lightweight concrete 100 × 100 × 100 (mm3) 28 [46]
The k-value of four different types of rocks as aggregate in dry and saturated condition 120 × 120 × 40 (mm3) 27 [47]
Relation of the k-value and mineral admixtures 110 × 160 × 40 (mm3) 28 [48]
Influence of class C fly ash (FA), blast furnace slag (BFS) and a combination of FA and BFS on the k- 110 × 160 × 40 (mm3) 28 [49]
value of concrete
Transient plane source (TPS) Changes in the k-value of sand concretes by adding wood shavings 100 × 100 × 50 (mm3) NA NA [51]
Effect of moisture content on the k-value of autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) 100 × 100 × 30 (mm3) NA [52]
Effect of different aggregates on the k-value of concrete NA 28 [53]
The k-value of concrete with relative humidity of 10–30% Cube cast 150 × 150 × 150 (mm3) 28 [54]
Cylindrical
150 mm × 300 mm

NA: not available.


Journal of Building Engineering 20 (2018) 81–93
I. Asadi et al. Journal of Building Engineering 20 (2018) 81–93

thermal conductivity of oil palm shell LWC is significantly lower than


normal weight concrete. Another report reverted that lightweight
concrete made of tobacco waste has a thermal conductivity in the range
of 0.19–0.22 W/m °K [91]. Pinto et al. [90] found that corncob is a
suitable LWA for use in concrete to produce thermal insulating cement-
based material.
Adding more wood shavings caused a reduction in the thermal
conductivity of sand concrete and therefore enhanced its thermal in-
sulating capacity [51]. The relation between glass beads and the
thermal conductivity of concrete, which was simulated by finite ele-
ment method, demonstrated that glass bead concrete is a suitable
thermal insulating material [59]. The thermal conductivity of APC was
also evaluated for dynamic wall construction [40]. Dynamic insulation
reduces energy consumption and improves indoor air quality (IAQ) in
Fig. 8. Thermal conductivity of water at different temperatures [77]. buildings. Results indicate that the thermal conductivity of APC with
w/c of 0.35 in the range of 50–60% was between 0.78 and 0.85 W/
m °K. This value was 0.9–1.0 for APC with w/c of 0.25.
[8]. The thermal conductivity of rocks used as aggregate in concrete
varies from 1.163 to 8.6 W/m °K [47]. Moreover, using lightweight-
foamed concrete (LFC) instead of conventional aggregate in concrete
3.3. Phase change material (PCM)
reduces its thermal conductivity due to the porosity of lightweight
aggregates (LWAs). Increasing the concrete porosity by 1% reduces the
PCMs are used in building applications to decrease energy con-
thermal conductivity by about 0.6% [17].
sumption and improve indoor thermal comfort due to their ability to
It has been reported that the thermal conductivity of lightweight
absorb and store heat [93,94]. PCMs range in size from millimeters to
concrete ranges from 0.2 to 1.9 W/m °K and 0.6–3.3 W/m °K for normal
micrometers. A significant amount of heat can be absorbed and released
weight concrete (NWC) [17,58,82,83]. However, it was stated that the
in the phase change from solid to liquid and vice versa during en-
thermal conductivity value of SLWAC with average density of about
dothermic and exothermic processes [95]. PCM-concrete is a kind of
1850 kg/m3 varies from 0.58 to 0.86 W/m °K [83]. In addition, it was
concrete in which PCM is incorporated [96]. Shafigh et al. [97] dis-
reported that the thermal conductivity value of SLWAC varies from 0.85
cussed different PCM-concrete types and incorporation methods in de-
to 1.05 W/m °K when the density is in the range of 1400–1800 kg/m3.
tail.
Different types of LWA may have diverse effects on the thermal
The thermal conductivity of PCM cementitious materials is lower
conductivity of concrete. Wu et al. [84] used cenospheres to develop
than conventional cementitious materials [98]. Aguayo et al. [99] re-
ultra-lightweight cement composites (ULCCs) with low thermal con-
vealed that the k-value of cementitious composite reduced by more
ductivity and high strength, which can be used as structural material.
than 10% when incorporation only 5% PCM by total weight of the
They reported that the k-value of ULCC is 54% and 80% lower than
cementitious system. Sakulich and Bentz [100] reported that the k-
cement paste and concrete, respectively. Hanif et al. [85] developed an
value of the cementitious system can be reduced by up to 25% when the
ultra-lightweight cementitious composite using fly ash cenosphere
introduced PCM via LWA in mixture was about 2% of mortar weight.
(FAC) and aerogel as lightweight aggregates. They revealed that the
Shi et al. [32] evaluated the thermal conductivity of a novel form of
FAC and aerogel particles reduce the k-value of the cementitious
stable fiber composite concrete that contains paraffin as PCM. The
composite. The k-value of the cementitious composite reduced by about
thermal conductivity of paraffin in solid phase is 0.27 W/m °K, but this
23.3% when 5% aerogel was used. Huang et al. [86] investigated the
value is 0.15 W/m °K in liquid phase. However, the thermal con-
influence of fly ash cenosphere content on the thermal conductivity of
ductivity of paraffin in liquid phase is lower than solid phase. Experi-
green lightweight engineered cementitious composites (GLECC). They
mental measurement results showed that the thermal conductivity of
reported about 21% reduction in the k-value of GLECC mixtures when
the specimen (mix of cement, fine sand, gypsum, water, paraffin, and
100% iron ore tailings (IOTs) were replaced with FAC.
basalt fibers) at 75 °C was greater than at 30 °C. The lower contact
Wang and Meyer [87] utilizing recycled high impact polystyrene
thermal resistance at the interface between the liquid paraffin and
(HIPS) as a sand substitute in cement mortar. They reported k-values of
concrete fiber compared to the corresponding resistance when the
mortar of 0.53, 0.42 and 0.27 W/m °K when the HIPS replacement
paraffin was in solid state was mentioned as a reason for this phe-
percentage was 10%, 20% and 50%, respectively. Bederina et al. [51]
nomenon.
revealed that adding wood shavings to dune sand concrete reduced the
Eddhahak-Ouni et al. [101] investigated the thermal conductivity of
k-value from 1.20 to 0.55 W/m °K when the density was decreased from
Portland cement concrete that was modified with organic micro-
2100 to 1400 kg/m3. Yun et al. [58] used three different artificial
encapsulated phase change materials (PCMs). The researchers reported
coarse LWAs, namely Argex, Stalite and Asanolite in concrete mixtures.
that the average thermal conductivity of this PCM-concrete was
They observed that Stalite is the best thermal insulating aggregate
1.99 W/m °K.
compared to Argex and Asanolite. The thermal conductivity of Stalite
was about 1.25 W/m °K when 20–30% glass bubbles were added to the
aggregate volume. Some properties of these LWAs are summarized in
Table 2.
In the agricultural sector, there are solid wastes with the potential to
Table 2
be used in the mix proportions of concrete. Research shows that solid
Properties of argex, stalite and asanolite aggregates [58].
waste, such as oil palm shell [88], coconut shell [89], corncob [90] rice
husk and tobacco wastes [91] can be used successfully as aggregates in Type of LWAs Particle density Dry loose bulk Water absorption
(kg/m3) density (kg/m3) (%)
concrete mixtures [92]. These are porous in nature, and therefore ap-
plying these wastes to concrete reduces its density. Oil palm shell is a Argex 1130 650 19
LWA with a specific gravity of 1.2, which is approximately 50% lower Asanolite 1250 800 8
than conventional aggregates. A previous study [92] indicated that the Stalite 1470 800 12

87
I. Asadi et al. Journal of Building Engineering 20 (2018) 81–93

3.4. Type of cementitious material [107,109,110].


Hemp concrete is a porous and environmentally friendly bio-ag-
Bottom ash (BA) is a waste from coal combustion in power plants. gregate building material used in walls, floors and roofs. Density affects
BA can be used as aggregate replacement [102] and also cement re- its thermal conductivity significantly more than water content. The
placement in concrete [39]. Wongkeo et al. [39] investigated the thermal conductivity of sprayed hemp concrete (SHC) walls ranging in
thermal conductivity of autoclaved concrete using bottom ash. BA was density from 374 to 416 kg/m3 varies from 0.116 to 0.125 W/m °K, but
utilized as a Portland cement replacement in 0%, 10%, 20% and 30% the SHC floor thermal conductivity is 0.145 W/m °K at 450 kg/m3
by weight. It was reported that the thermal conductivity increased by density [41]. Based on the results, the linear relation between the
adding BA to the mixture due to the increasing unit weight of concrete. thermal conductivity of hemp concrete and density is:
The thermal conductivity values were 0.57, 0.58, 0.59 and 0.61 W/m °K
k = 0.4228ρ − 42.281 (R2 = 0.95) (12)
for LWC with 0, 10%, 20% and 30% BA respectively.
Demirboǧa and Gül [43] studied the effect of substituting 10%, 20% Another way to reduce the density of concrete is to use lightweight
and 30% Portland cement with FA and SF (the most available supple- aggregate instead of conventional aggregate. Concretes containing
mentary cementitious materials worldwide) on the thermal con- lightweight aggregate could be used for load bearing members or par-
ductivity of expanded perlite lightweight concrete. They reported that titions. Johnson Alengaram et al. [30] studied the thermal conductivity
these cementing materials could reduce the thermal conductivity of the of oil palm shell (OPS) lightweight aggregate concrete. OPS is the waste
concrete at all replacement levels. The maximum reduction for FA and from oil palm trees [111]. The thermal conductivity of oil palm shell
SF was 18% and 14%, respectively, at 30% replacement. Moreover, Sun foamed concrete (OPSFC) was examined for six densities ranging from
et al. [103] examined the effect of the water-binder ratio (W/B), re- 1100 kg/m3 to 1600 kg/m3. The results demonstrated that the thermal
placing cement with fly ash and incorporation a water-reducing agent conductivity values for the lowest density (1100 kg/m3) and highest
on the thermal properties of porous concrete with a density of 600 kg/ density (1600 kg/m3) were 0.4 and 0.57 W/m °K, respectively. The re-
m3. They reported that porous concrete with a W/B ratio of 0.32, FA searchers suggested the following polynomial function to estimate the
replacement percentage of 30% and the addition of 0.65% water-re- thermal conductivity of OPSFC [30].
ducing agent exhibited the optimum performance in terms of thermal
k = −6e−7ρ2 + 0.0021ρ − 1.2005 (R2 = 0.98) (13)
and mechanical properties. According to their research, the k-value
increased from 0.1 to 0.14 when the FA replacement level was in- Liu et al. [31] evaluated the thermal conductivity of oil palm shell
creased from 0% to 40%. foamed geopolymer concrete (OPSFGC). Three mixtures with densities
Demirboğa [44] studied the effect of blast furnace slag (BFS), SF, of 1300, 1500 and 1700 kg/m3 were tested. The thermal conductivity
class C fly ash (FA), SF + FA, SF + BFS and FA + BFS on the thermal for lowest and highest density was 0.47 W/m °K and 0.57 W/m °K, re-
conductivity of concrete. Portland cement was replaced with 7.5% and spectively.
15% SF, 15% and 30% FA and 15% and 30% BFS. The combinations of Ng and Low [34] examined the k-value of newspaper sandwiched
these cementitious materials as cement replacement were 7.5% aerated lightweight concrete (ALC) panels. The ALC considered had
SF + 7.5% FA, 7.5% SF + 7.5% BFS and 15% FA + 15% BFS. De- densities of 1100, 1400 and 1700 kg/m3 at three aerial intensities of
mirboğa found that the thermal conductivity of concrete containing 0.05, 0.10 and 0.15 g/cm2. They reported that the ALC panels with
these cementitious materials reduced due to the reduced concrete densities of 1700 kg/m3, 1400 kg/m3 and 1100 kg/m3 had about 18%,
density. The maximum reduction in thermal conductivity was 23% for 21.8% and 20.7% lower conductivity than the control ALC, respec-
concrete containing 30% FA. tively.
Demirboǧa [48] also examined the thermal conductivity of mortar A study on the thermal conductivity of modified waste expanded
containing SF, FA and BFS as cement replacement in ratios of 10%, 20% polystyrene (MEPS) concrete conducted by Demirboga and Kan [42]
and 30%. The test results showed that using these cementitious mate- revealed that the MEPS concrete with lower density had lower thermal
rials reduced the thermal conductivity of mortar. The reduction in these conductivity. Demirboga and Kan reported that the thermal con-
replacement levels for SF was 17%, 31% and 40% and for FA it was ductivity of MEPS concrete with densities between 2025 and 980 kg/m3
14%, 26% and 33%, respectively, while for BFS the reduction varied ranged between 1.99 and 0.6 W/m °K. Eqs. (14) and (15) were derived
between 12% and 14%. based on oven-dry density and saturated surface density (SSD), re-
Xu and Chung [104] studied the thermal conductivity of cement spectively:
paste with 0–2% silane and 15% silica fume as admixtures. They de- k = 0.193e 0.146ρ (R2 = 0.92) (14)
monstrated that adding silane alone to the admixture caused 78% en-
hancement in thermal conductivity, while a mix of silane and silica k = 0.303e 0.965ρ (R2 = 0.98) (15)
fume increased the thermal conductivity by up to 38%.
Wu et al. [84] reported that the k-value of ULCC reduced with the
In another study [43], it was reported that increasing the cement
decrease in oven-dry density. They suggested the following regression
content in concrete increased its thermal conductivity. It was concluded
to calculate the thermal conductivity of ULCCs.
that substituting Portland cement with cementitious materials can re-
duce the thermal conductivity of concrete, mortar and cement paste. k = 0.11e (ρ /1000) (R2 = 0.92) (16)
Gül et al. [112] evaluated the influence of polypropylene fibers,
3.5. Density of concrete and thermal conductivity
wavy steel and hooked steel on the thermo-mechanical properties of
lightweight concrete using perlite aggregate. They suggested the fol-
Density is defined as the mass per unit volume in SI units of kg/m3.
lowing correlation between the samples' k-value and oven-dry density.
There is a significant relationship between the unit weight of concrete
and the thermal conductivity value [105]. Increasing the air voids in k = 0.0306e 0.0018ρ (R2 = 0.86) (17)
concrete is a method of reducing the concrete density. Air voids are
Gao et al. [113] prepared a lightweight concrete by incorporating
created artificially by using a foaming agent or aluminum powder in
silica aerogel particles into the concrete matrix. Aerogel is a nano-
foamed concrete (FC), which is categorized in the cellular concrete
porous material with extremely low density in the range of 3–100 kg/
group [106,107]. FC is produced by adding foam to the cement paste or
m3. They suggested the following correlation to calculate the k-value of
concrete [108]. Moreover, FC is produced in different density ranges
aerogel-incorporated concrete (AIC) based on its density:
from 300 to 1800 kg/m3 and it is an excellent thermal insulation ma-
terial due to the enhanced amount of air inside the cement matrix k = 0.038e 0.0019ρ (18)

88
Table 3
Thermal conductivity values for different types of cement-based materials.
Type of concrete Density (ρ) Thermal conductivity Extracted correlation R2 Ref.
I. Asadi et al.

(kg/m3) (K) (W/m °K) (Equation No.)


Concrete code Description

FC-1100 Foamed concrete with densities ranging from 1100 kg/ 1156 0.40 0.94 [30]
FC-1200 m3 to 1600 kg/m3 1192 0.41
k = 0.0004ρ − 0.0732 (R2 = 0.94)
FC-1300 1354 0.50
FC-1400 1409 0.54 (21)
FC-1500 1506 0.55
FC-1600 1594 0.57
OPSFGC13 Oil palm shell foamed geopolymer concrete with 1291 0.47 0.94 [31]
OPSFGC15 densities of 1300, 1500 and 1700 kg/m3 and oil palm 1467 0.50
k = 0.0002ρ + 0.2060 (R2 = 0.94)
OPSFGC17 shell non-foamed geopolymer concrete 1721 0.54
OPSNFGC 1791 0.58 (22)
NP05-1700 Newspaper sandwiched aerated lightweight concrete 1700 0.50 0.75 [34]
NP05-1400 panels with densities of 1100, 1400, and 1700 kg/m3 1400 0.39
k = 0.0003ρ − 0.0033 (R2 = 0.75)
NP05-1100 aerial intensities of 0.05, 0.10, and 0.15 g/cm2 of 1100 0.31
NP10-1700 newspaper sandwiched 1700 0.49 (23)
NP10-1400 1400 0.33
NP10-1100 1100 0.30
NP15-1700 1700 0.40
NP 15-1400 1400 0.31
NP 15-1100 1100 0.30
PFC-150 Polystyrene foamed concrete with densities ranging 150 0.08 0.92 [36]
PFC-200 from 150 kg/m3 to 400 kg/m3 200 0.08
k = 0.0002ρ + 0.0250 (R2 = 0.92)
PFC-250 250 0.09
PFC-400 400 0.15 (24)

89
SF10 Concrete containing silica fume and fly ash at ratios of 509 0.17 0.77 [43]
SF20 10–30% cement replacement 493 0.15
k = 0.0008ρ − 0.2341 (R2 = 0.77)
SF30 485 0.15
FA10 511 0.16 (25)
FA20 498 0.16
FA30 483 0.14
SF7.5 Concrete with silica fume in 7.5% and 15% cement 2350 1.16 0.75 [44]
SF15 replacement, fly ash and blast furnace in 15% and 30% 2335 1.05
k = 0.0027ρ − 5.3547 (R2 = 0.75)
FA15 cement replacement 2340 1.08
FA30 2290 0.95 (26)
BFS15 2355 1.09
BFS30 2340 1.04
SF + FA 2330 0.99
SF + BFS 2345 1.12
FA + BFS 2300 0.97
SF-10% Mortar containing silica fume, fly ash and blast furnace 1920 0.97 0.76 [48]
SF-20% as cement replacement in 10%, 20% and 30% weight 1880 0.81
k = 0.0012ρ − 1.3614 (R2 = 0.76)
SF-30% 1790 0.71
FA-10% 2020 1.01 (27)
FA-20% 1950 0.87
FA-30% 1920 0.79
BFS-10% 2106 1.03
BFS-20% 2010 1.03
BFS-30% 1990 1.01
(continued on next page)
Journal of Building Engineering 20 (2018) 81–93
Table 3 (continued)

Type of concrete Density (ρ) Thermal conductivity Extracted correlation R2 Ref.


I. Asadi et al.

(kg/m3) (K) (W/m °K) (Equation No.)


Concrete code Description

REF Different types of normal concrete, magnetite concrete, 2240 2.24 0.43 [53]
MAG graphite concrete, graphite and magnetite concrete, 3650 2.57
k = 0.0013ρ − 0.5502 (R2 = 0.43)
GRA steel fiber concrete, steel fiber concrete with high fiber 1890 3.52
GAM concentration, concrete with brass shavings, concrete 2810 3.85 (28)
ST1 with copper wires, concrete with PCM pellets, concrete 2330 2.57
ST2 with micro PCM, concrete with PCM dispersion, and 2441 2.95
BRA cement paste 2520 2.71
COP 2438 3.63
PEL5 1790 1.23
MIC5 1570 0.83
MIC50 1570 0.77
DIS5 1900 1.47
DIS50 1900 1.63
PAS 1510 0.58
Silica fume (0%) + Silane (0%) Concrete containing 0–2% silane and 15% silica fume 1990 0.52 0.84 [104]
Silica fume (15%) + Silane (0%) (by weight of content) as admixtures 1980 0.40
k = 0.0025ρ − 4.4523 (R2 = 0.84)
Silica fume (15%) + Silane (0.2%) 2070 0.61
Silica fume (15%) + Silane (0.5%) 2060 0.64 (29)
Silica fume (15%) + Silane (0.75%) 2050 0.66
Silica fume (15%) + Silane (1%) 2080 0.68
Silica fume (15%) + Silane (1.5%) 2070 0.69
Silica fume (15%) + Silane (2%) 2070 0.71
CCM Cement matrix and wooden aggregate in 10–30% of 1283 0.43 0.97 [115]
10WA mass fraction 1065 0.34

90
k = 0.0005ρ − 0.1959 (R2 = 0.97)
20 WA 908 0.23
25 WA 862 0.22 (30)
30 WA 800 0.21
Journal of Building Engineering 20 (2018) 81–93
I. Asadi et al. Journal of Building Engineering 20 (2018) 81–93

4. Discussion

In the past, most researchers have paid more attention to the me-
chanical properties of concrete. However, in recent years, more studies
are evaluating the thermal conductivity as well as mechanical proper-
ties of concrete due to the importance of energy saving in buildings. In
general, materials with low k-values are deemed suitable options for
energy saving in the building construction sector.
The k-value measurement of cement-based materials as well as all
other types of materials is based on transient or steady state methods.
Currently, most researchers are selecting transient methods to measure
the k-value of cement-based materials. Nonetheless, the prevalent use
of this method may not specify its greater accuracy over steady state
methods. It seems the availability of equipment in research labora-
tories, experimental measurement time and the ability to measure moist
Fig. 9. General correlation between thermal conductivity and density. specimens may be some of the reasons for using transient methods ra-
ther than steady state.
Tasdemir et al. [114] suggested the following equation to estimate Different parameters may be selected as the independent variables
the k-value of lightweight aggregate concrete containing pumice, ex- to evaluate their effects on the thermal conductivity of concrete. A
panded polystyrene and expanded perlite based on the unit weight. number of researchers have evaluated the k-value of concrete at dif-
ferent temperature and relative humidity conditions. Others have
k = 0.0003ρ − 0.014 (R2 = 0.94) (19)
considered the effects of various types of lightweight aggregates and
Gomes et al. [18] suggested the following equation to estimate the cementitious materials on the k-value of concrete. More recently, de-
k-value of mortar based on its dry bulk density. veloping PCM-concrete seems to be a favorite topic among researchers
to reduce the energy consumption in buildings. Based on available re-
k = 0.0236e 0.0023ρ (R2 = 0.87) (20) sults, PCM-concrete can be considered a proper method to increase the
The majority of previous studies have indicated that the density of heat capacity of concrete. However, there is still insufficient knowledge
concrete has the best relation with its thermal conductivity. Table 3 pro- regarding the k-value of PCM-concrete when using different types of
vides details from some previous studies. The table presents the type of PCMs. The thermal conductivity of PCM-concrete is a critical topic. On
concrete, density, thermal conductivity and linear regression between one hand, PCMs with high k-values are required to speed up the phase
density and thermal conductivity extracted by the authors of each study. change. On the other hand, PCM-concrete with a low k-value is required
Fig. 9 displays the relationship between the density and thermal to slow down the heat transfer through walls.
conductivity of concrete. This relationship was derived from 185 ex- In summary, it appears that more studies are required to measure
perimental data available in the literature the k-value of concrete in control conditions based on both transient
[18,30,31,34,36,43,44,48,104,115–117] with good correlations for and steady state methods. The outcome of these types of studies may
different types of cement mortar and concrete. Therefore, Eq. (31) can reveal the error and accuracy of each method. Additional studies are
be used to predict the thermal conductivity of concrete with densities also required to evaluate the effect of using low thermal conductivity
ranging from 150 to 2350 kg/m3 (Fig. 10). cement-based materials on the annual energy consumption of buildings
in different weather conditions.
k = 0.0625e 0.0015ρ (R2 = 0.81) (31)
5. Conclusions
ACI committee 213 R-03 proposed Eq. (32) to predict the thermal
conductivity of LWC [42]. A comparison between this equation and the
This study reviewed the thermal conductivity (k-value) of concrete.
equation proposed in this study (based on experimental test results)
Despite available guidelines, this paper considered different measure-
clearly shows that both equations are fitted to densities below 1500 kg/
ment methods as well as the percentage of methods used in previous
m3. LWCs with these densities are often used for sound and thermal
studies. Furthermore, various factors affecting the thermal conductivity
insulation. Therefore, the equation proposed by the ACI committee is
of concrete were reviewed and discussed.
recommended for non-structural lightweight concretes.
Between the two transient and steady state methods for evaluating
k = 0.0864e 0.00125ρ (32) the thermal conductivity of materials, the first is used more frequently
for measuring the thermal conductivity of concrete due to the avail-
ability of equipment in research laboratories, cost of equipment, ex-
perimental measurement time and capability to measure moist spe-
cimen. This method is used for heterogeneous materials. Hot wire and
transient plane source (TPS) are two main techniques applied with
transient method for concrete.
The thermal conductivity of concrete may be affected by changes in
various factors, such as humidity, temperature, type of aggregate, use of
phase change materials (PCMs), type of cementitious material and
density.
In terms of humidity, studies have revealed that the k-value of ce-
ment-based materials in saturated condition is higher (by 1.4–3 times)
than in dry condition due to the higher thermal conductivity of water
compared to air. Such variation might be attributed to the different
porosity types and sizes and water absorption ability of different ma-
terials. In general, the k-value increases by about 6% with the addition
Fig. 10. Equation developed in this study compared with the ACI equation.
of 1% moisture content.

91
I. Asadi et al. Journal of Building Engineering 20 (2018) 81–93

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