Microscopic analysis of paste and aggregate distresses in pervious concrete in a wet, hard freeze climate

Mary Vancura, Kevin MacDonald, Lev Khazanovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


In a recent survey, the durability and condition of 29 in service pervious concrete pavements built in a wet, hard freeze environment were assessed, and 33 core samples were collected. Following up on this survey, this paper identifies some of the common subsurface distresses observed in the core samples with optical microscopy instruments. In the distressed samples, cracks went through the aggregate, paste, and interfacial transition zone (ITZ). The cracks were similar to cracks in conventional concretes that formed due to known freeze/thaw damage. In addition to cracking patterns, it was discovered that none of the 33 pervious concrete samples contained the recommended quantity or spacing of entrained air bubbles. There was a lack of entrained air bubbles despite the addition of air-entraining admixtures to all of the pervious concrete mixtures. It is unknown if the lack of entrained air bubbles contributed to the cracks in the pervious concretes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1080-1085
Number of pages6
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was completed with a grant from the Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) Research and Education Foundation whose executive director is Julie Garbini.


  • Air-entraining admixtures
  • Concrete cracks
  • Entrained air bubbles
  • Freeze/thaw distress
  • Optical microscopy
  • Pervious concrete


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