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Title:Air-coupled ultrasonic tomographic imaging of concrete elements
Author(s):Hall, Kerry S.
Director of Research:Popovics, John S.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Popovics, John S.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Oelze, Michael L.; LaFave, James M.; Mondal, Paramita
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Civil Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV)
Non-destructive testing (NDT)
Nondestructive testing
Abstract:Ultrasonic tomography is a powerful tool for identifying defects within an object or structure. This method can be applied on structures where x-ray tomography is impractical due to size, low contrast, or safety concerns. By taking many ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) readings through the object, an image of the internal velocity variations can be constructed. Air-coupled UPV can allow for more automated and rapid collection of data for tomography of concrete. This research aims to integrate recent developments in air-coupled ultrasonic measurements with advanced tomography technology and apply them to concrete structures. First, non-contact and semi-contact sensor systems are developed for making rapid and accurate UPV measurements through PVC and concrete test samples. A customized tomographic reconstruction program is developed to provide full control over the imaging process including full and reduced spectrum tomographs with percent error and ray density calculations. Finite element models are also used to determine optimal measurement configurations and analysis procedures for efficient data collection and processing. Non-contact UPV is then implemented to image various inclusions within 6 inch (152 mm) PVC and concrete cylinders. Although there is some difficulty in identifying high velocity inclusions, reconstruction error values were in the range of 1.1-1.7% for PVC and 3.6% for concrete. Based upon the success of those tests, further data are collected using non-contact, semi-contact, and full contact measurements to image 12 inch (305 mm) square concrete cross-sections with 1 inch (25 mm) reinforcing bars and 2 inch (51 mm) square embedded damage regions. Due to higher noise levels in collected signals, tomographs of these larger specimens show reconstruction error values in the range of 10-18%. Finally, issues related to the application of these techniques to full-scale concrete structures are discussed.
Issue Date:2011-08-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Kerry S. Hall
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-08-25
Date Deposited:2011-08

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