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Article Dans Une Revue Journal of Building Physics Année : 2017

On the characterization of pore size distribution of building materials

N Mendes
  • Fonction : Auteur
Pc Philippi
  • Fonction : Auteur


Moisture affects significantly the energy performance of air conditioning systems, the durability of materials, and the health of occupants. One way of reducing those effects, without increasing the energy costs, is by means of using porous material ability of absorbing and releasing moisture from/to the adjacent environment, which attenuates the indoor relative humidity variation. This natural ability is intrinsically related to the porous microstructure. Therefore, the characterization of the pore space is an important research theme in the building physics area. This article aims to present a method for obtaining the pore size distribution based on adsorption isotherms and mercury porosimetry data. First, the theoretical formulation based on the Gibbs free energy for a two-phase (liquid–vapor) system, using the De Boer and Zwikker model, is presented, allowing the calculation of the critical adsorbed thickness for pore filling, critical radius, adsorbed moisture content, capillary condensation content, available surface for adsorption, and the distribution of micropores for a wide range of radius. The adsorption isotherm curve is estimated for high relative humidity values through mercury porosimetry, along with the adsorption curve obtained from the experiment. The pore volume distribution calculated by this method can be used to estimate transport coefficients for liquid and vapor phases.
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Dates et versions

hal-03844900 , version 1 (09-11-2022)



Lorena Freitas Dutra, N Mendes, Pc Philippi. On the characterization of pore size distribution of building materials. Journal of Building Physics, 2017, 41 (3), pp.247-263. ⟨10.1177/1744259117698515⟩. ⟨hal-03844900⟩


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