RCON2™ | Concrete Bulk Resistivity

Concrete Bulk Resistivity

Giatec RCON2™ is a non-destructive device for measuring the electrical resistivity of concrete specimens in the laboratory without any additional sample preparation requirements. This measurement can easily be made on the same concrete samples that are currently used for the compressive strength testing of concrete.

RCON2™ is fast (measurement time is less than 5 seconds), accurate (utilizing variable frequency method) and flexible (the measurement can be taken with different settings for verification). RCON2™ also allows for continuous measurement of electrical resistivity over time, which can be used to monitor several other parameters such as cracking, moisture transfer and time of setting in concrete specimens.

remove_circle_outlineadd_circle Applications

In concrete materials, the electrical resistivity is correlated well with important durability parameters such as permeability, diffusivity and in general the micro-structure characteristics of concrete.

RCON2™ is a unique device for investigating the micro-structural properties of concrete including:

  • Diffusion of chloride in concrete
  • Rebar corrosion in concrete
  • Setting time of fresh concrete
  • Moisture transfer in concrete
  • Curing of concrete
  • Cathodic protection design

remove_circle_outlineadd_circle Features

  • Fast (<5 Second)
  • Accurate (±2%)
  • AC measurement (Galvanostatic)
  • Wide range of measurement frequencies (1Hz to 30kHz)
  • Phase detection (0-180 degree)
  • Stand alone operation
  • Continuous measurement
  • User-friendly PC software
  • Flexible sample holders
  • Customizable setup
  • USB connection to computer
More Information

Giatec RCON2™ provides a reliable method that utilizes electrical resistivity measurement for the quality control of concrete based on the required durability performance. This measurement can easily be made on the same concrete samples that are currently used for the compressive strength testing of concrete. RCON2™ employs an AC impedance technique for the accurate and fast readings that can be continuously obtained using its customizable and user-friendly operating software for various concrete materials.

The electrical resistivity of concrete can simply be related to their pore network characteristics such as pore size and their connectivity, moisture content in the pores and pore solution chemistry. In concrete materials, the electrical resistivity has been well correlated with important durability parameters such as permeability and diffusivity. In addition, this non-destructive test can easily be conducted on fresh or hardened concrete specimens at different ages or various stages of hydration in order to study workability, setting and durability performance of concrete.

The electrical resistivity method has also been applied to investigate corrosion of rebar in concrete, creep, aggregate segregation and freeze and thaw of concrete since they affect the pore network properties. The concrete electrical resistivity techniques is also a suitable replacement for the Rapid Chloride Permeability Test of concrete (as per ASTM C1202) since there is a strong correlation between the electrical resistivity and durability performance of concrete.

remove_circle_outlineadd_circle Standardization

New ASTM and AASHTO standards are being developed based on the electrical resistivity measurement of concrete as a measure of its durability performance.

remove_circle_outlineadd_circle Technical Specifications

Reading Range Frequency spectrum Phase measurement Impedance accuracy Phase accuracy
1 ~100 Ω 1Hz ~ 30KHz 0 ~ 180° ± 2% ± 2digit 5 % ± 3digit
1 ~10 KΩ
10 ~ 100 KΩ
100 KΩ ~1 MΩ 1Hz ~ 10KHz

Measurement Time
Frequency Sampling time Reading time (minimum)
1 Hz ~ 4 Hz 5 seconds 10 seconds
5 Hz ~ 30 KHz 1 second 2 seconds

Operating conditions
Type Value
Operating temperature 15 ~ 45 °C
Operating humidity 30 ~ 80%
Storage temperature 0 ~ 60°C
Operating voltage/current 100-250 V ± 10%, 60Hz
Dimensions of RCON2™ 200 x 230 x 70 mm

remove_circle_outlineadd_circle Purchase Items

Part No. Item Description
900083 RCON2™ - Full Package-115/230V RCON2™ unit, Power adapter, Test cable set, Alligator test clip, Sample holder, Verification kit, Fresh concrete probe, User manual, Communication PC software, USB cable, 2 bottles of conductive gels, 2 pairs of contact sponge
900082 RCON2™ Device-115/230V RCON2™ unit, Power adapter, Test cables, Verification kit, User manual, Communication PC software, USB cable

The following replacement parts are available upon request:

Part No. Item Description
900018 Test Cable Set A pair of test cable for connecting the device to the sample holder
900065 Verificaiton Kit Required to verify the performance of the device
900013 Sample Holder - Bulk Sample holder, 2 pairs of contact sponge
900014 Contact Sponge D150 - Pair 150 mm Dia. Cellulose Sponge
900015 Conductive Gel - Low Viscosity 250 ml bottle
900016 Conductive Gel - Medium Viscosity 250 ml bottle
900084 Fresh Concrete Probe Probe for testing electrical resistivity of fresh concrete
900069 RCON2™ Fresh Concrete Test Rod Set Stainless steel rods

remove_circle_outlineadd_circle FAQ

Q1: Can RCON2™ be used for field tests on hardened concrete, or is it just for laboratory use?
A: RCON2™ is designed to test hardened concrete samples of different sizes and shapes for both laboratory and field applications.

Q2: Your website mentions the correlation between ASTM C1202 and the RCON2™. Do you have any data comparing the results of the 2 methods?
A: Yes. There is a correlation between the results of the rapid chloride permeability test and those obtained from the electrical resistivity method. Please refer to the following table for the comparison of these two techniques:

Rapid chloride permeability and bulk electrical resistivity values
Chloride Penetration High Moderate Low Very Low Negligible
56-Day Rapid Chloride Permeability Charge Passed as per ASTM C1202 (Coulombs) >4,000 2,000-4,000 1,000-2,000 100-1,000 <100
28-Day Bulk Electrical Resistivity of Saturated Concrete (kΩ.cm) <5 5-10 10-20 20-200 >200

Q3: What is the measuring range of RCON2™? What is the maximum (kΩcm) that can be measured?
A: The measurement range for the RCON2™ is from 1ohm to 1Mohm. For a cylindrical sample of 10 x 20 cm the maximum measurement is ~4,000 kΩcm. This range can be increased to ~40,000 kΩcm using a high-resistivity accessory provided by Giatec.

Q4: What kinds of requirements are needed to run the software?
A: The requirements needed to run the software are a PC computer with minimum Pentium 4 Processor, Windows XP/Windows 7/Vista operating system and at least 500 MB Ram.

Q5: What are the standards that were used to develop the equipment?
A: RCON2™ was developed based on an upcoming ASTM standard which will be published soon. There is a similar standard in AASHTO for the surface electrical resistivity measurement, but RCON2™ device measures the bulk electrical resistivity which provides a more accurate result.

Q6: Does this device measure compressive strength?
A: No, it does not. RCON2™ can easily and quickly measure the electrical resistivity of concrete. This parameter is closely correlated with the setting time of fresh concrete and the durability characteristics of hardened concrete.

Q7: Does this device measure the sustainability of concrete and the ingress of salts and chlorides?
A: RCON2™ measures the electrical resistivity of concrete. This parameter can be used to estimate the durability and sustainability of concrete in a specific exposure environment. Giatec offers another device called Perma™ which measures the rapid chloride permeability of concrete based on the ASTM C1202. For more information on this device, please click here.

Q8: In some countries, the operating voltage is 210-220 V and the cycle is 50 Hz. Is RCON2™ compatible with these specifications? Would this difference of cycles affect the test results?
A: The power supply of the RCON2™ supports an input voltage in range of 100-250 V with the frequency range of 50-60Hz. The results wouldn’t be affected at all by these variations.

Q9: Is the item D00101A-11 Fresh concrete probe mandatory for performing tests? Will it be useful in supplementing our results?
A: The fresh concrete probe is an optional item; it is only needed for studying the setting of concrete. If you are not doing this type of testing, you do not need this item.

Q10: How do you measure the change in water content and time of setting in concrete specimen?
A: Using the special fresh concrete probe designed to be embedded in concrete, you can measure the water content and the setting time by monitoring the electrical resistivity versus time. The device comes with software that can log the data. However, calibration is required to correlate the change of the electrical resistivity to the actual water content and the setting time of concrete.

Q11: Are the ASTM & AASHTO Standards still under development?
A: AASHTO standard is already published. You can obtain more information from the AASHTO TP 95-11 document. The ASTM standard which is based on the bulk electrical resistivity of concrete is currently under development and will be published soon.

Q12: Is the concrete specimen used in this test cylinder or can we use a cube sample size (150mmx150mmx150mm)?
A: You can fit the cylindrical samples with the maximum size of 150mmx300mm and the cubic sample with the maximum size of 100mmx100mm in the regular sample holder that comes with the RCON2™. However, if you need to measure a 150mmx150mm cubic sample, we can customize the sample holder fixture in order to accommodate this size.

Q13: How many samples can be tested simultaneously?
A: Only one sample can be tested at a time with the current test set-up that we have. However, the test is very fast, taking only 3-5 seconds to accurately process, allowing for many samples to be tested in a short period of time.

Q14: What is the list of users of this product?
A: Our user list includes several North American, European, Australian and Middle Eastern universities and concrete producers. Among these are universities such as University of Michigan, Carleton University, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, Purdue University, and United Arab Emirates University. For customer feedback, please CLICK HERE to visit Giatec Scientific’s LinkedIn Recommendations.

Q15: Do you have a representative or supplier outside North America?
A: Currently we do not have suppliers outside North America. We manufacture and ship the devices directly from Canada.

Q16: How will the product be taken care of in terms of warranty services?
A: Giatec takes care of any service and calibration cost incurred during the warranty period and will provide online unlimited technical support 24/7 to our customers after the warranty period, free of charge.

Q17: In terms of sensitivity, accuracy and calibration, can the RCON2 unit be equated or correlated in any way to any chloride diffusion testing of concrete?
A: RCON2™ is fully calibrated before shipping and, moreover, comes with a verification kit for the customer to verify the test results from time to time if deemed necessary. The device has been designed to provide high sensitivity and accuracy required for concrete research. CLICK HERE for the RCON2™ user manual that contains more information regarding the accuracy and sensitivity of RCON2™ as well as its calibration and verification procedure.

Q18: What is Giatec’s procurement/sales procedure?
A: Step 1: We provide a quotation of the device and its accessories to the customer. Step 2: customer sends us a purchase order or an email confirming the prices listed in the quotation. Step 3: We process an invoice in reference to the purchase order and include shipping, handling, and insurance costs. Step 4: Once we receive the payment from customer (either by wire transfer or a cheque in advance) we deliver the product which will take 1-2 weeks (depending on location) from date of payment and include a receipt for your records. Step 5: Follow-up with the customer and assure that the product was delivered successfully and everything is in good condition.

Q19: How to use RCON2 for conductivity measurement for fresh concrete ?
A: The conductivity of fresh concrete (which is the inverse of its electrical resistivity) can be measured using the fresh concrete probe provided by Giatec or using a similar setup. This fixture incorporates two stainless steel rods (with insulating parts at the ends) embedded in fresh concrete. The rods are connected to the RCON2 device for monitoring the increase in the electrical resistance between them as the concrete sets and hardens. The measured electrical resistance can be converted to electrical resistivity knowing the conversion factor which depends on the geometry of the test container. This conversion factor can be easily obtained by measuring the electrical resistance of a salt solution (with known conductivity) in the test container.

remove_circle_outlineadd_circle Publications

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  57. Stanish, K., Hooton, R. D., & Thomas, M. D. A. (2004). A Novel Method for Describing Chloride Ion Transport due to an Electrical Gradient in Concrete: Part 1. Theoretical description. Cement and Concrete Research, 34(1), 43-49.
  58. Stanish, K., Hooton, R. D., & Thomas M. D. A. (2004). A Novel Method for Describing Chloride Ion Transport due to an Electrical Gradient in Concrete: Part 2. Experimental study. Cement and Concrete Research, 34(1), 51-57.

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 2 reviews
by Dr. Burkan Isgor on RCON2
Excellent Product
Company: Oregon State University

The efficiency of RCON allows to test a large number of specimens in a very short period of time. Giatec's technical team provides very efficient and timely support.

by Jon Belkowitz on RCON2
Changing the Industry
Company: Intelligent Concrete, LLC

The RCON device is an amazing tool for the concrete arena. We have successfully used the RCON on a wide variety of projects. It's ease of use coupled with dating relating to permeability helps us determine the appropriateness of concrete mixtures and the impact of the constituents.

Giatec makes some great products. Giatec customer sensitivity and attentiveness also sets the bar for the concrete and construction industries.

I have and will continue to reccomend the RCON device and Giatec to my customers and contacts in the concrete and construction industry.