Defect characterization in heterogeneous civil materials using ultrasound
MetadataShow full item record
Asphalt and Portland cement concrete constitutes a significant portion of the total infrastructure all over the world. It has been reported that much of this concrete infrastructure is now approaching or has already passed its original design life. Thus it is critical to be able to quantitatively assess the condition of these concrete components. In order to rehabilitate or repair the civil infrastructure, nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques have been of great interest for infrastructure management agencies. However concrete components present several specific NDE challenges that must be addressed. . Concrete naturally exhibits large scale heterogeneous microstructure with a great deal of local material property variability, For this reasons, many conventional NDE techniques that work well for steel and other homogeneous materials cannot be applied to concrete; concrete is unable to transmit high frequencies, as the heterogeneity of the concrete causes signals of smaller wavelengths or wavelengths equal to the nominal aggregate size to be scattered and severely attenuated. Nevertheless, progress has been made towards accurate and reliable in-place NDE of concrete structures and materials, for example impact echo, ultrasonic pulse velocity method, and the ultrasonic wave transmission method. However, the detection of smaller sized defects or remote defects that are located away from the testing location still pose problems. In addition, the large size and potential limited access conditions of civil structures raise additional challenges. To overcome the limitations of current NDE techniques for concrete, this research considers two different types of ultrasonic waves (coherent and incoherent wave) to quantitatively characterize and monitor defects in heterogeneous concrete materials. The global objective of this research is to determine the feasibility and applicability of using these ultrasonic waves as a global, rapid, reliable, and non-biased technique for the routine screening of defects or monitoring of concrete structures and materials. Three different problems are considered: 1) characterization of segregation in asphaltic concrete, 2) crack depth determination in pier cap of concrete bridge structure, and 3) monitoring of self-healing process in cement-based concrete.