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Applying Dynamic Acoustoelasticity (D.A.E.) Principle for In Situ Monitoring of Civil Engineering Structures.

While a wide variety of non-destructive methods are available for evaluation concrete structures, recent studies indicate that nonlinear acoustic techniques seem to be promising for the detection and characterization of microcracks in concrete elements. Among the nonlinear acoustics techniques proposed for the characterization of microdefects in concrete, the ultrasonic travel time shift technique based on dynamic acoustoelasticity principle appears to be the most suitable for field work. The technique uses high frequency ultrasonic wave to probe the medium, while a low-frequency high-amplitude wave disturbs the medium, which locally and temporarily modifies its elastic properties. The objective of this work is to assess its feasibility for in situ tests. The idea is to use the traffic as a source of high strain in the material (pump wave source). To do so, a hydraulic actuator was used in the lab to simulate the passage of vehicles over large concrete slabs incorporating various alkali-reactive aggregates and nonreactive aggregates. The results demonstrate the feasibility for in situ technical implementation and some studies on the effect of the temperature on the nonlinear parameters allowed evaluating the range of temperature in which the acoustic nonlinear technique may lead to more reliable results.

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