Title: Seasonal Variation and Age-related Changes in the Relative Permittivity of Concrete Bridge Decks on Korea Expressways
Author(s): Ji-Young Rhee, Seong-Hoon Kee, Hong-Sam Kim, Jae-Jin Choi
Appears on pages(s):
Keywords: ground-penetrating radar, relative permittivity, concrete, seasonal variation, concrete age, deterioration.
The purposes of this study were to investigate the seasonal variations in the relative permittivity of actual concrete bridge decks of various ages on Korea expressways, and to propose a practical way to calibrate two critical effects, to assess the condition of the concrete bridge decks with better accuracy. For these purposes, fifty-three actual concrete bridge decks on Korea expressways were scanned using an air-coupled ground penetrating radar (GPR) system, and the relative permittivity of the concrete was evaluated from the GPR data in the field. A statistical analysis showed that the relative permittivity of the concrete bridge decks in Korea are closely correlated with seasonal changes and concrete ages. For concrete bridge decks aged 10 years or older, the effect of concrete age was not as significant as that of relative humidity of the air on relative permittivity of concrete. Based on the results, a simple calibration process was proposed to suppress the effects of seasonal variation and age of concrete on the measured relative permittivity of the concrete decks on actual bridges. As will be discussed, the resulting relative permittivity method produced better agreement with the current condition of the concrete bridge decks as determined by visual inspection and other complementary methods (energy attenuation of GPR signals and corrosion potential measurements) than without the calibration process.