In Japan, steel plate bonding method has been widely adopted as a way to reinforced concrete slabs (hereinafter referred to as RC slabs) of highway bridges. Usually, the inspection for the steel plate bonding has been performed by a hammering test. However, using the hammering test, quantitative information on specific damages is very difficult to obtain. Thus, the development of a new quantitative method is desired. For this purpose, a laser method was developed for remote inspection of bond conditions of steel plates. Experiments were performed using a laser system to detect various artificial defects in specimens. However, it was found that the laser technique cannot distinguish a damage filled with water from a bonded part with no defect. In this study, therefore, dispersive properties of ultrasonic guided waves in layered media are investigated analytically and verified experimentally to find the existence of water behind a steel plate. It is concluded that ultrasonic guided waves have high potential to detect a water ponding behind a steel plate.
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