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On-site detection of degradation in reinforced concrete structures in operational conditions using the acoustic emission technique

Worldwide, deterioration of reinforced concrete structures (RC) calls for effective methods to detect damage and evaluate the efficiency of repair interventions. In the viewpoint of efficient inspection, the acoustic emission (AE) technique is an ideal choice as it allows nondestructive and continuous monitoring of the structure. However, the potential to detect deterioration of RC structures under operational conditions has not been fully exploited yet. On the one hand, due to the passive nature of the AE technique, elastic waves are only captured when the damage occurs. Moreover, natural degradation processes such as reinforcement corrosion and alkali-silica reaction are typically slow and emit low energy signals making it challenging to detect the elastic waves in operational conditions. On the other hand, due to economical restraints and time considerations, continuous monitoring is not always possible. The aim of this project is to develop a framework for AE detection of degradation processes in operational conditions, with focus on the on-site application of this technique for existing RC structures. The project focuses on developing valuable alternatives for continuous monitoring for existing RC structures in operational conditions. Both periodic measurements and activation protocols for ongoing natural degradation processes will be investigated. The methodology will be validated on three case studies.

Date:1 Oct 2020 →  Today
Keywords:Acoustic emission monitoring, Reinforced concrete, Degradation in operational conditions
Disciplines:Construction materials, Non-destructive testing, safety and diagnosis, Structural engineering