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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 6, Number 7, September 2010, pages 851-866
DOI: https://doi.org/10.12989/sss.2010.6.7.851
 


Non-destructive evaluation of concrete quality using PZT transducers
R. Tawie, H.K. Lee and S.H. Park

 
Abstract
    This paper presents a new concept of using PZT (lead zircornate titanate) transducers as a non-destructive testing (NDT) tool for evaluating quality of concrete. Detection of defects in concrete is very important in order to check the integrity of concrete structures. The electro-mechanical impedance (EMI) response of PZT transducers bonded onto a concrete specimen can be used for evaluating local condition of the specimen. Measurements are carried out by electrically exciting the bonded PZT transducers at high frequency range and taking response measurements of the transducers. In this study, the compression test results showed that concrete specimens without sufficient compaction are likely to fall below the desired strength. In addition, the strength of concrete was greatly reduced as the voids in concrete were increased. It was found that the root mean square deviation (RMSD) values yielded between the EMI signatures for concrete specimens in dry and saturated states showed good agreement with the specimens compressive strength and permeable voids. A quality metric was introduced for predicting the quality of concrete based on the dry-saturated state of concrete specimens. The simplicity of the method and the current development towards low cost and portable impedance measuring system, offer an advantage over other NDE methods for evaluating concrete quality.
 
Key Words
    electro-mechanical impedance; PZT transducers; non-destructive testing; concrete quality.
 
Address
R. Tawie and H.K. Lee: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 305-701, South Korea
S.H. Park: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Gyeonggi 440-746, South Korea
 

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