Performance of NDT Technologies in Concrete Bridge Deck Deterioration Detection and Characterization

The primary objective of this SHRP 2 research project was to identify and validate NDT technologies that can effectively detect and characterize deterioration in bridge decks. The most promising technologies were evaluated in both laboratory and field conditions with respect to detection and characterization of four deterioration types: delamination, reinforcement corrosion, concrete degradation and vertical cracking. The technologies evaluated include: ground penetrating radar, impact echo, infrared thermography, electrical resistivity, half-cell potential, galvanostatic pulse measurement, ultrasonic surface waves, and chain drag/hammer sounding. The evaluation of NDT technologies concentrated on the following performance measures: accuracy, repeatability, speed, ease of use, and cost. Based on the results of the evaluation (validation) process, the technologies were graded and ranked, and appropriate test procedures and protocols for their most effective application were proposed. The outcomes of the project were incorporated into an electronic NDT repository, NDToolbox, to provide guidance to practitioners. The repository also contains the description of the technologies, principles of operation, advantages and limitations, and effective applications through recommended procedures and example results. It is expected that the developed repository will achieve the ultimate practical goal of the study to stimulate wider adoption of NDT technologies by DOTs and other transportation agencies in their day-to-day activities. The main tasks of the study and the obtained results are presented.

1. Gucunski, N., A. Imani, F. Romero, S. Nazarian, D. Yuan, H. Wiggenhauser, P. Shokouhi and D. Kutrubes. Nondestructive Testing to Identify Concrete Bridge Deck Deterioration. SHRP2 R06-A Report, 2011. 2. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Bridge Inventory (NBI). FHWA Bridge Programs Count, Area, Length of Bridges by Highway System. Accessed May 8, 2012.
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