Monitoring damage in concrete using diffuse ultrasonic coda wave interferometry

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Schurr, Dennis Patrick
Jacobs, Laurence J.
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The prevalence of concrete and cement-based materials in the civil infrastructure plus the risk of failure makes structural health monitoring an important issue in the understanding of the complete life cycle of civil structures. Correspondingly, the field of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) has been maturing and now concentrates on the detection of flaws and defects, as well as material damage in early stages of degradation. This defect detection is typically usually done by looking at the impulse response of the medium in question such as a cement-based material. The impulse response of a solid can be used to image a complex medium. Classically, the waveform is obtained by an active setup: an ultrasonic signal is generated at one location and recorded at another location. The waveform obtained from imaging can be used to quantitatively characterize the medium, for example by calculating the material's diffusivity coefficient or dissipation rate. In recent years, a different monitoring technique has been developed in seismology to measure the velocity of different kinds of waves, the Coda Wave Interferometry (CWI). In this CWI technique, the main focus is given to the late part of the recorded waveform, the coda. CWI is now successfully used in seismology and acoustics. In the current research, CWI is applied on concrete in different damage states to develop basic knowledge of the behavior of the wave velocity, and how it can be used to characterize cement-based materials. By comparing two impulse responses, the relative velocity change between the two impulse responses is used to characterize damage. Because of the stress-dependency of the velocity change, the calculations can also be used to directly calculate the Murnaghan's and Lam´e's coefficients. The newer technique of CWI is applied - the Stretching Technique (ST) [27]. The first goal of this research is to establish the viability of using CWI in cement-based materials. Next, we use the ST in the application of stress as we compress concrete samples for the detection of thermal damage, ASR-damage and mechanical softening.
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