Determination of representative volume elements for pervious concrete



Date of this version


Document Type



Pervious concrete, Random microstructure, Representative volume element


Pervious concrete is a specialty concrete with a high pore volume fraction. The porosity and microstructure that give pervious concrete its characteristic permeability also limit aspects of performance, such as strength and durability. Microstructural parameters used in computational models of mechanical behavior can be quantified using image analysis. However, because pervious concrete has a random microstructure, measured values from a single image may not reflect the “effective” behavior of the material. The appropriate size of a sample, known as a Representative Volume Element (RVE), may vary depending on the parameter under consideration. In this work, six microstructural parameters are measured using image analysis. Average values of these parameters were calculated as a function of sample size to illustrate convergence to a representative value. Representative values from image analysis were also compared with experimentally measured porosity. Results suggest appropriate RVEs for porosity, specific surface area, characteristic length, mean free spacing, characteristic pore diameter, and interfacial perimeter.

Published in

ACI Materials Journal

Citation/Other Information

Baxter, Sarah C., et al. “Determination of Representative Volume Elements for Pervious Concrete.” ACI Materials Journal, vol. 117, no. 6, American Concrete Institute, 2020, pp. 55–63, https://doi.org/10.14359/51728124.