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Tensile Strength Prediction in Concrete Using Nondestructive Testing Techniques

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.

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