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Proceedings Paper

Impact-echo and impulse response stress-wave methods: advantages and limitations for the evaluation of highway pavement concrete overlays
Author(s): Allen G. Davis; Bernhard H. Hertlein; Malcolm K. Lim; Kevin Michols
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Paper Abstract

Concrete overlays with thickness ranging between 25 mm and 300 mm are frequently used to restore and strengthen existing concrete pavements and bridge approach slabs. Differences in the strengths and elastic moduli of the overlay and the substrate, as well as the cleanliness and roughness of the interface between the two layers affect the medium and long term performance of these structures. Debonding at the interface, excessive tensile stresses at the base of the overlay and delamination within the upper layer are commonly occurring problems. If these defects are not detected and corrected in god time, the deterioration of the overlay under the action of heavy axle loads is rapid and becomes expensive to fix. Nondestructive methods are required to identify the budding problems of the type described above, by surveying overlay systems quickly and economically. Stress wave methods for flaw detection in concrete structures and foundations have shown great promise in recent years. The Impact-Echo test has been applied successfully to many diverse concrete material problems. The Impulse Response test is proven in the detection of flaws in deep concrete foundations, as well as the location of poor support conditions beneath and delaminations within concrete slabs on grade. This paper presents a case study where both methods were used to examine a stepped concrete overlay on approach slabs to bridge decks on a heavily trafficked interstate highway. The two test methods are briefly described, and a comparison is drawn emphasizing the advantages and disadvantages of both techniques.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 November 1996
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2946, Nondestructive Evaluation of Bridges and Highways, (13 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.259127
Show Author Affiliations
Allen G. Davis, Madsen, Kneppers & Associates, Inc. (United States)
Bernhard H. Hertlein, STS Consultants, Ltd. (United States)
Malcolm K. Lim, Construction Technology Labs., Inc. (United States)
Kevin Michols, Construction Technology Labs., Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2946:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Bridges and Highways
Steven B. Chase, Editor(s)

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