Evaluating Damage in Simple-span Prestressed
Concrete Girders using Acoustic Emission: Laboratory
Specimens and Existing County Bridge
Publication: Publication Date: 1 January 2017Testing Method:
The need for rapid, cost-effective, and reliable
techniques for assessment and load rating of inservice
concrete bridge girders has grown rapidly
in recent years. Every agency in the United States
has numerous old and/or deteriorated concrete
bridges, many of which are classified as structurally
deficient. The current state of nondestructive load
testing practice includes two types of tests that can
be implemented depending on the nature of the
issue for a particular bridge: diagnostic load tests
and proof load tests. In this paper, the use of acoustic
emission monitoring for damage assessment during
load tests is discussed in two case studies. In the first
study, cyclic load testing in general conformance with
ACI 437 was conducted on prestressed concrete
T-shaped beams that had different initial conditions:
five specimens were pre-cracked and corroded to
different corrosion levels while the remaining unconditioned
beams served as control specimens. The
second study discusses a proof load test conducted to
assess the condition of a simple-span, prestressed
concrete double-T-beam bridge without plans
located in southern New Mexico. The results of
both studies demonstrate the feasibility of using
acoustic emission data to classify damage during
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