NDT Inspection of Concrete Structures: Complementarity of Ground Penetrating Penetrating Radar, Ultrasonic Tomography and Eddy Current methods

The state of the art of non-destructive testing applied to civil engineering has in recent years achieved many significant milestones in the field of imaging technologies for the assessment of reinforced concrete structures. The constant improvement of the available electronic components and the increased computational power of consumer-grades mobile devices are among the key factors that drove mature technologies such as Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Eddy Current Testing (ECT) into products delivering new levels of accuracy and usability. At the same time, recent developments of the pulse-echo-based Ultrasonic Tomography (UT) further broadened the range of applications potentially addressed. Still, there seems to be a general lack of awareness in the user community about the real potentials and main limitations of each of the three technologies. The current work focuses on the typical scenarios and the common challenges presented by tasks of embedded object detection (structural details, steel reinforcement, utility network) and flaw detection (voids, cracks, delaminations). The complementarity of the three technologies has been proven through measurements on test blocks and real-life cases. It is noted that the proper combination of technologies naturally results in more efficient workflows, increased positioning accuracy, and a less subjective, operator-dependent interpretation of the testing results.

References

 

  • BS 1881 pt. 204, 1988, “Testing concrete. Recommendations on the use of electromagnetic covermeters”
  • DIN 1045-1, 2008, “Concrete, reinforced and prestressed concrete structures - Part 1: Design and construction”.
  • SS 78, pt. 4, 2013, “Testing Concrete Part B4: Recommendations on the use of electromagnetic covermeters”.
  • Deutscher Beton Verein, 2011, “DBV Betondeckung und Bewehrung”.
  • RILEM TC 154-EMC, 2011, “Electrochemical techniques for measuring metallic corrosion. Half-cell potential measurements - Potential mapping on reinforced concrete structures”.
  • G. Tronca, S. Lehner, L. Raj, I. Tsalicoglou, J. Meier, R. Mennicke, 2017, “Lo oking into concrete – multiple frequency usage in radar products to detect structural parameters and defects faster and more accurately” Proceedings of APCNDT 2017.
  • G. Tronca, S. Lehner, I. Tsalicoglou, G. Catanzariti, 2018, “Comparison of pulsed and stepped frequency continuous wave (SFCW) GPR systems – Applications on reinforced concrete and brick/rock masonries” Proceedings of GPR-2018 - 17th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar.
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