Field studies have suggested that wave velocities through concrete samples decrease with
increasing damage. However, to date there has been no replication of this effect in a laboratory
setting allowing for a controlled experiment to quantify this effect. The primary
objective was to see how the exposure of concrete to sulfate solutions related to surfacewave
velocity and through-wave velocity. The impact–echo method and the ultrasonic
pulse velocity test were used to quantify these relationships, respectively. Laboratory
research focused on correlating nondestructive test (NDT) data with destructive test results
from field-sized concrete samples exposed to continuous sulfate attack over time. The intent
was to evaluate the capabilities of the NDT techniques in identifying and quantifying damage
due to sulfate attack. Prior research has shown that tension testing tends to be far more
sensitive than compression testing to such damage. As a result, it was expected, and confirmed,
that stress wave velocities from the two NDT techniques correlate better with tensile
strength than with compressive strength.
1. T. W. Bremner, A. J. Boyd, T. A. Holm, and S. R. Boyd. Proc. Int. Workshop on Alkali–Aggregate
Reactions in Concrete, CANMET=ACI, pp. 311–326, University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver,
2. ASTM. Standard Test Method for Splitting Tensile Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens,
C496-96. American Society for Testing and Materials. West Conshohocken, PA, USA.
3. A. J. Boyd and S. Mindess. The use of tension testing to investigate the effect of W/C ratio and cement
type on the resistance of concrete to sulfate attack. Cem. Conc. Res. 34(3):373 (2004).
4. A. J. Boyd and S. Mindess. Proc. 3rd Int. Conf. Concrete Under Severe Conditions, ACI=CSCE,
pp. 789–796 (2001).
5. W. Zheng, A. K. H. Kwan, and P. K. K. Lee. Direct tension test of concrete. ACI Mater. J. 98(1):63
6. S. P. Pessiki and N. J. Carino. Setting time and strength of concrete using the impact-echo method REF
9—The effect of curing and deterioration on stress wave velocities in concrete. ACI Mater. J.
7. S. Popovics. Strength and Related Properties of Concrete—A Quantitative Approach. Wiley, New York
8. ASTM. Standard Test Method for the Compressive Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens,
9. A. J. Boyd and C. C. Ferraro. J. Mater. Civ. Eng. 17(2):153 (2005).
10. ASTM. Standard Test Method for Pulse Velocity Through Concrete, C597-97.
11. ASTM. Standard Test Method for Measuring the P-Wave Speed and Thickness of Concrete Plates
Using the Impact–Echo Method, C1383-04.
12. T. R. Naik, V. M. Malhotra, and J. S. Popovics. Nondestructive Testing of Concrete, 2nd ed., pp. 8–1.
CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL (2004).