New directions in concrete health monitoring technology

Surendra P. Shah*, John S. Popovics, Kolluru V. Subramaniam, Corina Maria Aldea

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The NSF-sponsored Center for Advanced Cement-Based Materials is actively involved in research aimed at the development of technologies for health monitoring and nondestructive evaluation of the concrete infrastructure. This paper summarizes pertinent research performed at the center. Basic findings from several new laboratory-based nondestructive evaluation techniques for concrete are reported. The described techniques are based on measurements of mechanical waves that propagate in the concrete. First, ultrasonic longitudinal wave (also called the L-wave or P-wave) signal transmission (attenuation) measurements are shown to be sensitive to the presence of damage in the form of distributed cracking in concrete. Next, experimental procedures that enable practical one-sided wave signal transmission measurements to be performed on concrete structures are described. The utility of the signal transmission measurement is demonstrated by two experimental test series; the depths of surface-opening cracks in concrete slabs are estimated and the extent and nature of autogenous healing in concrete disks are studied. Finally, an approach by which fatigue-induced damage in concrete structures is nondestructively monitored is described. Vibration frequencies are shown to be sensitive to the presence of fatigue-induced cracking in concrete specimens; changes in the vibration frequency of a concrete specimen during fatigue tests are related to the remaining fatigue life of the test specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-760
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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