A new approach to estimate the permeability of partially water-saturated virtual cement-based materials is outlined in this paper. Although the established full methodology (particle packing-hydration simulation-porosimetry analysis-permeability calculation) will provide satisfactory results in comparison with experimental data, it is extremely time-consuming and thus expensive. As an alternative, this paper presents an engineering approach to the aforementioned full methodology, while still maintaining reliability at an appropriate level. In the approach water permeability is correlated to the median pore size and the saturation degree of the specimen. A mathematical model is therefore proposed to approximate the water permeability using only these two parameters. A good agreement can be observed comparing the results obtained by the complete methodology and by the developed mathematical method. In this study, water/cement ratio, particle size range and hydration period were varied. Since pore connectivity and shape seem to have an influence on water permeability, their contributions are additionally considered to further improve the proposed method.
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