Article Article
Damage Evaluation of Alkali-Silica Reaction Using Acoustic Emission

Alkali–silica reaction (ASR) is a concrete degradation mechanism that takes place between highly alkaline cement paste and reactive non-crystalline silica found in many common aggregates, in presence of sufficient moisture. This reaction can generate an expansive pressure inside concrete which may lead to extensive cracking in some cases. This mechanism is currently affecting many structures throughout the United States, especially in Texas and the Pacific Northwest. An accelerated test program was conducted to assess the ability of acoustic emission (AE) monitoring to detect and qualify ASR damage. The test program included twelve conditioned specimens cast using reactive aggregate and mortar with a high alkali content, and three control specimens cast using nonreactive aggregate, all having dimensions 3×3×11.25 in. (76×76×286 mm). The twelve conditioned specimens were placed in a controlled environment with high humidity and temperature to accelerate the reaction, while being continuously monitored with acoustic emission. This study is complementary to the previous study completed by Abdelrahman, M. et al. [1] after one year of monitoring. After this, three specimens out of the conditioned twelve were monitored up to 30 months. Two of them were kept under the same condition, while the third specimen was kept in only high temperature. The results of one of them are presented in this paper. Length change measurements was conducted periodically to monitor the damage developed by ASR. Acoustic emission was employed to detect and quantify damage progression associated with ASR. A previously developed AE based Intensity Analysis was conducted for the test specimens to evaluate thelevel of damage occurring due to ASR at different specimens’ ages.


 1. Abdelrahman, M., Mohamed  ElBatanouny, Paul Ziehl, Jeremiah Fasl , Carl Larosche  and John Fraczek , “ Classification of alkali– silica reaction damage using acoustic emission: A proof-of-concept study,” Construction and Building Materials , 95, 406-413, 2015.

2. Stanton, T., “Expansion of concrete through reacti on between cement and aggregate,” Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers , 66 (10), 1781-1811, 1940.

3. Folliard, K., Michael Thomas, & Kimberly Kurtis, “ Guidelines for the use of lithium to mitigate or prevent ASR,” (No. FHWA -RD-03-047), 2003.

4. Farny, J. and Beatrix Kosmatka, “ Diagnosis and control of alkali-aggregate reactions in concrete,” Portland Cement Association , 2007.

5. Benoit F., Marc-Andre Berube, Kevin Folliard and Michael Thomas, “ Report on the diagnosis, prognosis, and mitigation of Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR) in transportation structures,” (No. FHWA -HIF-09-001), 2010.

6. Hayman, S., Michael Thomas, Nicholas Beaman and Phillip Gilks, “ Selection of an effective ASR prevention strategy for use with a highly reactive aggregate for the reconstruction of concrete structures at Mactaquac generating station,” Cement and Concrete Research , 40(4), 605-610, 2010.

 7. Leemann, A. and Michele Griffa, “ Diagnosis of alkali-aggregate reaction in dams,” EMPA, Materials Science & Technology , 2013.

8. Shrimer, F., “ Application and use of damage rating index in assessment of AAR-affected concrete– selected case studies,” In Proceedings of the 11th international conference on AAR in concrete , Quebec City, Canada, 899-908, 2000.

9. Sargolzahi, M., Serge Kodjo, Patrice Rivard and Jamal Rhazi, “Effectiveness of nondestructive testing for the evaluation of ASR in concrete,” Construction & Building Materials , 24(8), 1398 1403, 2010.

10. Tajari, M., Mohamed Shekarchi and Afshin Sadri, “ Use of Impact-echo Technique for Detection of Distributed Damage in Concrete due to Alkali-silica Reactivity,” Materials Evaluation , 69(7), 881-890, 2011.

11. Thomas, M., Kevin Folliard, Benoit Fournier, Thano Drimalas, and Patrice Rivard, “ Study of remedial actions on highway structures affected by ASR,” Proceedings of the 14th international conference on alkali-aggregate reaction in concrete , 20-25, 2012.

12. Pollock, A., “ Classical wave theory in practical AE testing. Progress in Acoustic Emission III,” Tokyo, Japan, 21-24, 1986.

13. ASTM E1316-13c, “ Standard Terminology for Nondestructive Examinations,” American Standard for Testing and Materials , 1– 38, 2014.

14. Pour-Ghaz, M., Robert Spragg, Javier Castro, Jason Weiss, “ Can acoustic emission be used to detect alkali silica reaction earlier than length change tests?,” 14th International Conference on Alkali Aggregate Reaction in Concrete , Austin, TX, 2012.

15. ASTM C1293-08b, “ Standard Test Method for Determination of Length Change of Concrete Due to Alkali– Silica Reaction,” American Standard for Testing and Materials , 1– 7, 2008.

16. ASTM C157-08, “ Standard Test Method for Length Change of Hardened Hydraulic Cement Mortar and Concrete,” American Standard for Testing and Materials ,1– 7, 2008.

17. Fowler, T., J. Blessing, Peter Conlisk, and T. Swanson, “The MONPAC system,” Journal of acoustic emission , 8(3), 1-8, 1989.

18. Tinkey, B., Timothy Fowler and Richard Klingner, “ Nondestructive testing of prestressed bridge girders with distributed damage,” (No. FHWA/TX -03/1857-2,), 2002.

19. Ziehl, P., Michael Engelhardt, Timothy Fowler, Fernando Ulloa, Ronald Medlock and Eric Schell, “ Design and field evaluation of hybrid FRP/Reinforced concrete superstructure system,” Journal of Bridge Engineering , 14(5), 309-318. 2009.

20. ElBatanouny, M., Aaron Larosche, Paolo Mazzoleni, Paul Ziehl, Fabio Matta and Emanuele Zappa, “Identification of cracking mechanisms in scaled FRP reinforced concrete beams using acoustic emission.” Exp. Mech., 54(1), 69– 82, 2014a.

21. ElBatanouny, M., Paul Ziehl, Aaron Larosche, Jese Mangual, Matta, F. and Antonio Nanni, “Acoustic emission monitoring for assessment of prestressed concrete beams,” Construction and Building Materials, 58, 46– 53, 2014b.

22. Anay, R., Tamara Cortez, David Jáuregui, Mohamed ElBatanouny and Paul Ziehl, “ On-Site Acoustic-Emission Monitoring for Assessment of a Prestressed Concrete Double-Tee-Beam Bridge without Plans,” ASCE, Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities , 2015.

23. Golaski, L., Pawel Gebski, and Kanji Ono, “ Diagnostics of reinforced concrete bridges by acoustic emission,” Journal of acoustic emission , 20, 83-89, 2002.

24. ElBatanouny, M., Jese Mangual, Paul Ziehl, Fabio Matta, “ Early corrosion detection in prestressed concrete girders using acoustic emission,” Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering , 26 (3), 504– 511, 2014c.

25. Nair, A. and C.S. Cai, “ Acoustic emission monitoring of bridges: Review and case studies,” Engineering structures , 32(6), 1704-1714, 2010.

Usage Shares
Total Views
141 Page Views
Total Shares
0 Tweets
0 PDF Downloads
0 Facebook Shares
Total Usage