Decontamination of radionuclides from concrete by microwave heating. II: Computations

Goangseup Zi, Zdeněk P. Bažant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Based on a mathematical model developed in the preceding Part I of this study, a numerical analysis of the process of decontamination of radionuclides from concrete by microwave heating is conducted. The aim is to determine the required microwave power and predict whether and when the contaminated surface layer of concrete spalls off. As customary, the finite element method is used for the stress and fracture analysis. However, as a departure from previous studies, the finite volume method is adopted to treat the heat and moisture transfer, in order to prevent spurious numerical oscillations that plagued the finite element response at moving sharp interface between the saturated and unsaturated concrete, and to deal accurately with the jumps in permeability and in sorption isotherm slope across the interface. The effects of wall thickness, reinforcing bars, microwave frequency, and power are studied numerically. As a byproduct of this analysis, the mechanism of spalling of rapidly heated concrete is clarified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-792
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Computation
  • Concrete
  • Contaminants
  • Contamination
  • Diffusion
  • Heating
  • Microwaves
  • Pore pressure
  • Thermal stresses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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