In Situ Inspection Of Concrete Structures Using A Rolling Ultrasound Scanner

A prototype of an ultrasonic roller scanning system was developed for concrete inspection using a piezoelectric Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) array transducer operating in separate transmission and receiver (pitch-catch) modus. The ultrasonic roller was equipped with multi-layer and multi-element transducers made by stacking pre-polarized PVDF films in a folded sequence using an adhesive. A large concrete area was scanned in a relatively short inspection time and good image quality was obtained by using a customized electronics platform and our own adaptation of the Synthetic Aperture Focusing Technique (SAFT) algorithm. The broadband characteristics obtained from the PVDF transducer made it possible to use a wide range of adjustable operational frequencies. This is highly beneficial for concrete imaging where typically aggregates with a large variation in sizes will limit the image quality and enforce a tradeoff between penetration depths and resolution.

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