Data Fusion Techniques of Multiple Sensors Nondestructive Evaluation of a Concrete Bridge Deck

During the past decades, nondestructive evaluation methods have been applied widely and significantly on concrete bridge deck maintenance. Currently, multiple NDE techniques are available, such as ground penetrating radar (GPR), ultrasound, half cell potential method and impact echo, etc. In general, electromagnetic, electrochemical or elastic wave principles are employed in these techniques. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages based on the physical theory. For instance, air-filled delaminations may be readily detected with the impact-echo method or the chain drag method, but are not easily detected by GPR, which on the other hand detects metals, dielectric properties and is contactless and fast. The accuracy, reliability and information gained with each NDE technique is not always guaranteed and differs from problem to problem. Combining information regarding the state of the structure with that regarding the quality of the information may significantly enhance the effectiveness and accuracy of the assessments needed for managing bridge deck maintenance.

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