Nonlinear Acoustic Testing for Concrete Materials
Publication: Publication Date: 1 January 2017Testing Method:
This paper summarizes the results of three
nonlinear acoustic tests performed on a series of
stress-damaged concrete samples. The three tests
were: nonlinear resonant “ultrasound” spectroscopy
(NRUS), scaling subtraction method
(SSM), and dynamic acousto-elastic testing (DAET).
The test samples were cut out of a large concrete
block emulating common field investigation
scenarios, where the quality of an existing
structure was examined at different locations.
One sample was left intact while the others were
pressed to 10, 20, 30, 40, 60, and 70% of the
(nominal) ultimate compressive strength of their
common concrete mixture. NRUS was performed
on all samples, whereas SSM and DAET were
conducted on a subset of samples. In addition,
the conventional (linear) resonant “ultrasound”
spectroscopy and ultrasonic pulse velocity measurements
for all samples are reported. The authors
present the theoretical background of nonlinear
acoustic testing, discuss the principles and
outcome of each test, and compare the corresponding
results of linear and nonlinear acoustic techniques.
The obtained results attest to the high
sensitivity of nonlinear acoustic measurements
(that is, estimated nonlinear elastic material
parameters) to the presence of microcracks.
While NRUS, SSM, and DAET clearly differentiate
between intact and moderately damaged samples,
neither linear wave velocities nor (linear) dynamic
elastic moduli can reliably delineate undamaged
and damaged concrete.
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