Civil Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-27-2021


Concrete serves in all forms of humidity conditions (arid climates to submerged conditions) and can be exposed to many different forms of degradation. To better understand the effects that degradation and humidity have on concrete as a composite, the effects on cement alone must first be better understood. This research aims to examine the significance of degradation (calcium leaching or sulfate attack), in addition to relative humidity, on cracking and fracture behavior of cement. Flexure and fracture tests were performed on cement exposed to varying periods of each form of degradation as well as various humidities. Samples were exposed to degradation for varying periods of time (1-week, 12-weeks and 24- weeks) before being exposed to humidity and tested. Testing was performed after overnight exposure to relative humidities of 16%RH, 50%RH, and 99%RH. The experimental observations shed light on the significance of the interaction of degradation and humidity on cracking and fracture behavior of cement.


cement fracture, cement degradation, calcium leaching, sulfate attack

Document Type




Degree Name

Civil Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Civil Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Mahmoud Taha

Second Committee Member

Dr. John Stormont

Third Committee Member

Dr. Jessica Rimsza