Guided waves for damage detection in rebar-reinforced concrete beams

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Construction and Building Materials, 2013, 47 pp. 370 - 378
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The propagation properties of ultrasonic waves in rebar-reinforced concrete beams were investigated for the purpose of damage detection. Two types of piezoelectric (PZT) elements were used in experiments in which PZT disks were attached on the surfaces of concrete beams to observe wave propagation in concrete before and after a four-point bending test, while rectangular PZT patches were attached at the exposed ends of the rebar to monitor wave transmission along the rebar with and without simulated corrosion in the form of partial material removal from the rebar. Experimental testing demonstrated that the surface-attached PZT disks were capable of detecting the change in material properties due to the existence of cracking. In consideration of the inevitable discrepancies in different concrete beams due to specimen preparation and sensor installation, principal component analysis based on statistical parameters extracted from wave signals was applied to highlight the difference between benchmark and damaged rebar. The results show the potential of the principal components as damage indices for quantifying integrity conditions of concrete structures. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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