An X-ray apparatus for advanced construction related moisture research

Galbraith, G.H. and Baker, P.H. and Bailly, D. and McLean, R.C.; (2006) An X-ray apparatus for advanced construction related moisture research. In: Research in Building Physics and Building Engineering, Proceedings of the 3rd International Building Physics Conference, Montreal. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

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The moisture transmission performance of building envelopes is a subject of national and international significance. However, in spite of the considerable research efforts that have taken place, there remains a lack of fundamental knowledge on the various moisture transport processes and their interaction in practical situations. One of the principal reasons for this is the absence of an investigative tool which can provide accurate information on realistically-sized test specimens subjected to environmental conditions representative of those experienced in practice. This project will address this deficiency. The first stage of the project will involve the installation and commissioning of a specialist X-Ray absorption apparatus, similar to that already operating at DTU(Denmark) and being installed at NIST (USA). This can perform multi-dimensional measurements with sub-millimetric resolution on 420mm test specimens subjected to uniform temperature and humidity conditions. In the second stage, this core apparatus will be substantially modified to allow the imposition of temperature, humidity and barometric gradients across the specimens. The operational capabilities of the enhanced apparatus will be validated against results from previous and existing EPSRC projects based on conventional gravimetric techniques, as well as results from existing low resolution NMR equipment. A programme of dissemination will then take place, including a series of BRE-sponsored Workshops and a portfolio of possible future research projects developed.