Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Detecting the Presence of High Water-to-Cement Ratio in Concrete Surfaces Using Highly Nonlinear Solitary Waves

Rizzo, Piervincenzo and Nasrollahi, Amir and Deng, Wen and Vandenbossche, Julie (2016) Detecting the Presence of High Water-to-Cement Ratio in Concrete Surfaces Using Highly Nonlinear Solitary Waves. Applied Sciences, 6 (4). ISSN 2076-3417

Published Version

Download (2MB) | Preview


We describe a nondestructive evaluation (NDE) method based on the propagation of highly nonlinear solitary waves (HNSWs) to determine the excess of water on the surface of existing concrete structures. HNSWs are induced in a one-dimensional granular chain placed in contact with the concrete to be tested. The chain is part of a built-in transducer designed and assembled to exploit the dynamic interaction between the particles and the concrete. The hypothesis is that the interaction depends on the stiffness of the concrete and influences the time-of-flight of the solitary pulse reflected at the transducer/concrete interface. Two sets of experiments were conducted. In the first set, eighteen concrete cylinders with different water-to-cement (w/c) ratios were cast and tested in order to obtain baseline data to link the ratio to the time of flight. Then, sixteen short beams with fixed w/c ratio, but subject to water in excess at one surface, were cast. The novel NDE method was applied along with the conventional ultrasonic pulse velocity technique in order to determine advantages and limitations of the proposed approach. The results show that the time of flight detected the excess of water in the beams. In the future, the proposed method may be employed in the field to evaluate rapidly and reliably the condition of existing concrete structures and, in particular, concrete decks.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rizzo, Piervincenzopir3@pitt.edupir3
Nasrollahi, Amir
Deng, Wen
Vandenbossche, Juliejmv7@pitt.edujmv7
Date: 11 May 2016
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Applied Sciences
Volume: 6
Number: 4
Publisher: MDPI AG
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3390/app6040104
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: highly nonlinear solitary waves, nondestructive evaluation, concrete, ultrasonic pulse velocity method
ISSN: 2076-3417
Official URL:
Funders: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, China Scholarship Council
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2021 21:28
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 21:28


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item