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Non-Destructive testing of concrete with ground penetrating radar
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Concrete structures are susceptible to deterioration over time and it is vital to continually assess concrete structures to maintain the structural integrity and prolong the service life. In recent years there has been an increased interest in non-destructive testing of concrete, i.e. assessing the state of the concrete without causing any damage to the structure in the process. There are many different techniques that falls under the term non-destructive testing and one of these that have gained prominence during the last few years is Georadar or ground penetrating radar, often shortened as GPR. GPR is a technique where microwaves are sent into the surface of the concrete by a device, the waves will reflect back to the device when encountering interfaces of areas with different electric properties. The waves are then received by the same device indicating the internal structure of the concrete. This makes the technique an excellent way to find reinforcement bars as the electric properties of concrete and metal strongly differ. In theory though, the technique should also be able to detect other internal differences in concrete, such as voids and corrosion areas but further research is still needed in these areas. This aim of this report is to evaluate ground penetrating radar as a non-destructive technique for assessment of concrete structures. In order to do this different tests has been conducted to evaluate the general performance and usability with a literature review introducing the science behind and what conclusions other researches has reached and using a testing methodology to reach the results. The tests can in a simple way be divided into two parts, first lab tests on a slab in a controlled setting where the internal structure was known, and then two shorter field trips in order to evaluate the performance properly insitu. The results were, to some extent, ambiguous. Although it was found that GPR is an excellent method for finding and locating near-surface reinforcement it was also concluded that the results could vary significantly depending on the location. In one of the field trips the performance of the GPR technique was compared to the performance of traditional cover meter and in this case the portability of the cover meter outperformed the somewhat clunky handling of the GPR. The concrete cover measurement using post-processing of the radar data gave a rough estimate, but once again evaluation still relied on the insitu conditions and the estimate were sometimes questionable. Finding reinforcement below the first layer yielded differing results and it was concluded that further tests were needed to fully evaluate the capabilities of the technique in this regard. The conclusions of the thesis was that although the tests show some potential for the method the results expected from GPR would strongly depend on suitability of the project and experience of the user. One important limiting factor was the availability of devices. For the current project only one specific device was used, it was theorized that another GPR device could get better results depending on the purpose. Furthermore, the lack of experience was also considered to be a limiting factor that might have had an effect on the results. For future research more tests on lower reinforcement and tests on detection of deterioration were suggested. Comparative studies with other similar non-destructive techniques were also considered to be an area of possible interest.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 55
Keywords [en]
Concrete, Non-destructive testing, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Assessment, Inspection
National Category
Infrastructure Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-72621OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-72621DiVA, id: diva2:1280320
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Civil Engineering, master's level
Presentation
2018-06-01, Luleå, 14:30 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-01-23 Created: 2019-01-18 Last updated: 2019-01-23Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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Output format
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