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Reinforced Concrete Acoustic Scanning

Reinforced Concrete Acoustic Scanning is research into the impact echo characterization of concrete bridge decks between
fully intact sections and delaminated or internally cracked sections. Traditional methods of scanning are slow, labor intensive,
and extremely subjective, necessitating the need for a rapid automated solution. Within this research area at BYU there is work
being done on developing the physical sounding and recording testing apparatuses, the localization or the placement where
measurements are taken, and the analysis and characterization of the results in identifying delaminated sections.

Work on this project is among the forefront of research being done in detecting delaminations. With 600,000 bridges in
the United States alone, over 40% of which are at least 50 years old, it is important to find these delamination cracks as they
develop, thus allowing the Department of Transportation to prioritize deteriorating bridges and the sections in them that need
repairs. This not only saves money compared to full large renovations and reconstructions, but also helps to keep the public safe.

The overall goal of the research being done is development of the theory, testing platforms, and analysis methods that would
allow for accurate and fully automatic acoustic impact echo scanning. The team has built, developed, and published results for 2
types of impact echo testing trailers that have performed well in real world bridge scans. Work is ongoing to improve the accuracy,
localization, speed, and ease of measuring.

Related Publications

B. A. Mazzeo, A. N. Patil, and W. S. Guthrie. Acoustic impact-echo investigation of concrete delaminations using liquid droplet excitation. NDT&E International In Press (2012).