Reinforced concrete beams were tested in flexure, and their acoustic emission (AE) response was recorded. This research was performed to investigate the characteristic AE response that is associated with microcrack development, localized crack propagation, corrosion, and debonding of the reinforcing steel in an attempt to use AE to characterize the source of damage. Concrete beams were prepared to isolate these damage mechanisms by using unreinforced, notched-unreinforced, reinforced, and corroded-reinforced specimens. The AE response was analyzed to obtain key parameters such as the total number and rate of AE events, the amplitude and duration of the events, and the characteristic features of the waveform. Initial analysis of the AE signal has shown that a difference in the AE response can be observed depending on the source of the damage. By plotting the AE signal amplitude versus duration (cross-plot), it can be seen that distributed microcracking is typically characterized by a relatively low amplitude and short duration, whereas debonding cracks have a higher amplitude and longer duration. The Felicity ratio (ratio of the load level at which AE activity begins to occur and the previous loading level) exhibits a favorable correlation with the overall damage level, and the total number of AE events that occur during unloading may provide an effective criterion for estimating the level of corrosion distress in reinforced concrete structures. Based on these results, AE parameter analysis may provide a promising approach for estimating the level of damage and corrosion distress in reinforced concrete structures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering