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Vertical Electrical Impedance Scanner for Nondestructive Concrete Bridge Deck Assessment without a Direct Rebar Connection

Corrosion of steel reinforcing bars is a major problem in concrete bridge decks that are regularly exposed to chloride-based salts. Vertical electrical impedance (VEI) measurements quantify the level of protection offered to rebar against chloride ion ingress. Like most other electrochemical assessment tools, VEI testing requires a connection to the rebar. Instead of a direct connection to the rebar at a fixed point, however, a semidirect, low-impedance connection to the rebar can be made through placement of a sliding large-area electrode (LAE) on the surface of the concrete deck. Importantly, the LAE connection is completely nondestructive and can be rapidly deployed. In this work, a complete multichannel VEI scanner and LAE were constructed and demonstrated in the field. For all of the test sections, the VEI measurements obtained using the LAE connection were comparable to those obtained using a tapped connection and were also consistent with visual observations of deterioration.

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