Lessons Learned from Nondestructive Testing of Concrete Structures with Complementary Stress Wave-Based Methods

Cradle-to-grave asset management of the existing infrastructure requires continuous condition assessment and health monitoring of the structural elements. Nondestructive testing (NDT) methods can be used for this purpose to ensure safety and serviceability, to predict the cost of repair and the extent of maintenance activities, and to develop appropriate prediction models for damage prognosis and estimation of system’s remaining useful life. Two NDT methods for performance monitoring of concrete structures are the impact echo (IE) and the ultrasonic surface waves (USW). The objective of this paper is to summarize the lessons learned from the application of the IE and USW methods to evaluate different concrete infrastructure. The results from testing several concrete bridge decks, concrete slabs, and tunnels with the Portable Seismic Property Analyzer (PSPA) are used for this purpose. The limitations and strengths of the IE and USW methods separately and in combination in detecting and locating defects within the concrete are highlighted through case studies.

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