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Proceedings Paper

Inspection of bridge columns and retaining walls with electromagnetic waves
Author(s): Dryver R. Huston; Noel V. Pelczarski; Brian Esser
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Paper Abstract

Determining the health of concrete structural members, such as bridge columns and retaining walls is often difficult because a large portion of the interesting features, including damage are buried underneath the surface. This paper describes a development effort in which high-frequency electromagnetic waves (0.5 to 6 GHz) are used to interrogate reinforced concrete bridge columns, retaining walls and roadways. This technology, often known as ground penetrating radar (GPR), has previously been used to examine roadways and geological formations, primarily with lower frequencies. Rebar locations, concrete degradation and some cracks can be identified. However, most of the presently available GPR systems are bulky and specifically designed for examining horizontal surfaces. It is envisioned to use GPR technology to also examine non-horizontal surfaces, such as columns and walls. A prototype handheld system has been developed and tested on columns and retaining walls in the field as well as in the laboratory. The design of the system, field data compared with visual and historical information, as well as design concepts for an improved system will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 July 2001
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4330, Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Smart Systems for Bridges, Structures, and Highways, (30 July 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.434157
Show Author Affiliations
Dryver R. Huston, Univ. of Vermont (United States)
Noel V. Pelczarski, Univ. of Vermont (United States)
Brian Esser, Univ. of Vermont (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4330:
Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Smart Systems for Bridges, Structures, and Highways
S.-C. Liu, Editor(s)

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