Article Article
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.


Amer-Yahia, C., and T. Majidzadeh, “Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Decks: A Case Study,” Materials Evaluation, Vol. 76, No. 5, pp. 643–653.

Argyle, H. M., 2014, “Sensitivity of Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Measurements to Concrete Bridge Deck Properties,” MS thesis, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.

Bartholomew, P.D., W.S. Guthrie, and B.A. Mazzeo, 2012, “Vertical Impedance Measurements on Concrete Bridge Decks for Assessing Susceptibility of Reinforcing Steel to Corrosion,” Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 83, No. 8, pp. 085104, doi: 10.1063/1.4740479.

Barton, J., J. Baxter, W.S. Guthrie, and B.A. Mazzeo, 2019, “Large-Area Electrode Design for Vertical Electrical Impedance Scanning of Concrete Bridge Decks,” Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 90, No. 2, pp. 025101, doi: 10.1063/1.5058152.

Baxter, J.S., W.S. Guthrie, T. Waters, J.D. Barton, and B.A. Mazzeo, 2018, “Vertical Electrical Impedance Evaluation of Asphalt Overlays on Concrete Bridge Decks,” AIP Conference Proceedings, Vol. 1949, No. 1, pp. 030011 doi: 10.1063/1.5031534.

Brown, M.C., J.P. Gomez, M.L. Hammer, and J.M. Hooks, 2014, “Long-Term Bridge Performance High Priority Bridge Performance Issues,” Report No. FHWA-HRT-14-052, Federal Highway Administration, McLean, VA.

Bungey, J.H., S.G. Millard, and M.G. Grantham, 2006, Testing of Concrete in Structures, fourth edition, Taylor and Francis, Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom, pp. 177–200.

Dey, G., A. Ganguli, and B. Bhattacharjee, 2019, “Electrical Conductivity, Dielectric Permittivity, and Degree of Saturation of Cement Mortar at Low Radio Frequencies,” Journal of Testing and Evaluation, Vol. 47, No. 4, pp. 2664–2680.

Feliu, S., J.A. González, M.L. Escudero, S. Feliu Jr., and M.C. Andrade, 1990, “Possibilities of the Guard Ring for Electrical Signal Confinement in the Polarization Measurements of Reinforcements,” Corrosion: The Journal of Science & Engineering, Vol. 46, No. 12, pp. 1015–1020.

Feliu, S., J.A. González, J.M. Miranda, and V. Feliu, 2005, “Possibilities and Problems of In Situ Techniques for Measuring Steel Corrosion Rates in Large Reinforced Concrete Structures,” Corrosion Science, Vol. 47, No. 1, pp. 217–238.

Guthrie, W.S., and B.A. Mazzeo, 2015, “Vertical Impedance Testing for Assessing Protection from Chloride-Based Deicing Salts Provided by an Asphalt Overlay System on a Concrete Bridge Deck,” 16th International Conference on Cold Regions, 19–22 July, Salt Lake City, Utah, doi: 10.1061/9780784479315.032.

Guthrie, W.S., J.S. Baxter, and B.A. Mazzeo, 2018, “Vertical Electrical Impedance Testing of a Concrete Bridge Deck Using a Rolling Probe,” NDT & E International, Vol. 95, pp. 65–71.

Lisowski, M., and A. Skopec, 2009, “Effective Area of Thin Guarded Electrode in Determining of Permittivity and Volume Resistivity,” IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 24–31.

Malhotra, V.M., and N.J. Carino, 2004, Handbook on Nondestructive Testing of Concrete, second edition, CRC Press, West Conshohocken, PA, pp. 11–21.

Mazzeo, B.A., J. Baxter, J. Barton, and W.S. Guthrie, “Vertical Impedance Measurements of Concrete Bridge Deck Cover Condition without a Direct Electrical Connection to the Reinforcing Steel,” AIP Conference Proceedings, Vol. 1806, No. 1, pp. 080004, doi: 10.1063/1.4974629.

McCarter, M. J., M.C. Forde, and H.W. Whittington, 1981, “Resistivity Characteristics of Concrete,” Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineering, Part 2, Vol. 71, No. 1, pp. 107–117.

Mehta, P.K., and P.J.M. Monteiro, 2006, Concrete: Microstructure, Properties, and Materials, The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., New York, NY, pp. 412–415.

Mindess, S., 1989, Interfaces in Concrete, The American Ceramic Society, Westerville, OH, pp. 163–180.

Pullar-Strecker, P., 2002, Concrete Reinforcement Corrosion: From Assessment to Repair Decisions, ICE Design and Practice Guides, Thomas Telford Publishing, London, England, pp. 3–9.

Roper, E.A., 2018, “Chloride Concentration and Blow-Through Analysis for Concrete Bridge Decks Rehabilitated Using Hydro-Demolition,” MS thesis, Brigham Young University, available at

Sánchez, I., C. Antón, G. de Vera, J.M. Ortega, and M.A. Climent, 2013, “Moisture Distribution in Partially Saturated Concrete Studied by Impedance Spectroscopy,” Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 362–371.

US DOT, 2015 “Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions and Performance Report to Congress 2015,” US Department of Transportation, Washington, DC.

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