Nondestructive Evaluation Techniques and Acoustic Emission for Damage Assessment of Concrete Bridge in Marine Environment

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Title: Nondestructive Evaluation Techniques and Acoustic Emission for Damage Assessment of Concrete Bridge in Marine Environment

Author(s): A.B. Suma, R.M. Ferraro, B. Metrovich, F. Matta, and A. Nanni

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 277

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 109-128

Keywords: bridge, chemical assessment, corrosion, field testing, FRP strengthening, health monitoring, nondestructive evaluation, prestressed concrete, reinforced concrete

Date: 3/1/2011

Abstract:
Non-destructive evaluation techniques were used to assess the condition of a 40-year old concrete bridge operating in an aggressive marine environment. The bridge’s superstructure includes both reinforced and prestressed concrete one-way slabs, and experienced widening, repairs, and recently strengthening by means of externally bonded carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminates. Phase I of the investigation focused on evaluating deterioration of concrete and steel reinforcement by means of in-situ and laboratory testing. A 24 in. by 24 in. [610 by 610 mm] grid was marked on the bottom surface of the supporting slabs to map indicators of physical damage. Measurement of carbonation, pH, chloride content, corrosion potential, and visual inspection were implemented and rendered as layered maps to identify damaged areas. Phase II includes acoustic emission (AE) monitoring under service loads. AE amplitude, duration, energy and hits were analyzed to identify structural activity associated with damage phenomena, such as concrete cracking, slip between corroded reinforcement and surrounding concrete, and debonding of CFRP laminates. The database acquired from Phase I and Phase II was used for damage assessment. Combined results from the different techniques show promise in determining areas of concern with reduced uncertainty than when using a single measurement technique.