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It is well documented that dry specimens have a higher compressive strength than saturated specimens. We do know that there are variations in the strength of the structure that are not caused by basic variations in the concrete itself. For example when cores are taken from a column, the cores from the upper portion of the column invariably indicate lower strength than the cores from the bottom portion of the column. The reason is that the concrete near the bottom was compacted by static hydraulic head of the concrete being worked above, yet there was no change in mix or materials. Jump to Top.

A nondestructive test meth-od, such as probe pene-tration, impact hammer or ultrasonic pulse velocity may be useful in surveying structural members for areas of lower strength concrete. Section 3.

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And Section The relationship is affected by many factors such as the strength level of the concrete, the in-place temperature and moisture history, and the strength gain characteristics of the concrete. Many published articles relate how changing the water-cement ratio has a large effect on concrete strength. Is there a simple explanation for this effect? In general, there exists a fundamental inverse relationship between porosity and strength of solids.

This strength-porosity relationship is applicable to a wide range of materials, such as iron, stainless steel and granite. Think of examining a concrete core, which exhibits voids created by a lack of consolidation. You can imagine, why with a lack of internal structure, the compressive strength would be lower than expected.

On a much smaller scale, there is a theoretical volume of water based on curing conditions required to hydrate a given volume of cement. Once you have added more than that amount it creates capillary porosity i. The higher the water-cement ratio the more porous the weaker the strength. Generally, to maximize strength and durability, the water-cement ratio should be the lowest possible to hydrate the cement while maintaining its workability. We have a school project in California where the specified concrete strength is psi at days. Please enable JavaScript on your browser , then try again.

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Testing of Concrete in Structures: Fourth Edition, 4th Edition (Hardback) - Routledge

Industrial Tools 6. Power Tools 2. Hand Tools 2. Art 9. Art Posters 9. The development of such relationships for infrared thermography would also be very interesting since it is the fastest method. Another difficulty comes from the fact that the various measurements depend on several material parameters cracking, porosity and water content being the more important.

ICE manual of Construction Materials

In this case, infrared thermography seems to be more correlated with cracks than with the other two methods. The challenge is to be able to uncouple the effects of these various influencing factors, such as to quantify each of them. Skip to main content Skip to sections. Advertisement Hide. Download PDF.


  1. Chapter Non-destructive testing of concrete structures | ICE manual of Construction Materials!
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Comparison of nondestructive testing: Infrared thermography, electrical resisitivity and capacity methods for assessing a reinforced concrete structure. Paper First Online: 01 May Open image in new window. Each pipe section is roughly ovoid in shape with a height of 1. Only the internal surface of the duct could be inspected and showed some damage, such as cracks, which sometimes contained calcite Figure 2 and which were mainly to the upper part of the duct. Figure 2: Calcite in cracks and visible corroded rebars.

Based on a visual inspection, the damage pattern recorded was displayed on a diagram prepared by GETEC, a company specialised in nondestructive assessment and repair Figure 3. The overall dimensions of the cracks have been evaluated for each 3-m-length segment using the same method that is common in rocks mechanics Gervais et al. The cracks appear to be more developed in the middle part of the duct than at its ends Figure 4.

Figure 4: Profile of total cracks length for each segment. Measurements have been carried on the upper part of 17 pipe segments which corresponds to one segment out of three.


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The five NDT methods used were: 1 the capacitor method;. Electrical resistivity of concrete is mainly affected by the electrolytic conductivity through the porosity of material, which is affected by the quality of the concrete. When operated in a static mode electrodes in contact with the structure under investigation , the resistivity tomography leads to excellent estimates of the concrete thickness over the rebars. With special attention, each individual rod can be mapped.

The resistivity of the concrete alone can be indicative of the integrity and residual compressive strength of a concrete structure. Damaged areas and cracks in concrete can act as preferential routes for fluid flow. Mapping of the electrical resistivity distribution will help in diagnosis of defects in concrete structures.

A special device has been developed Figure 5 ; Lataste, to measure the concrete cover. The four probes deliver an electrical current between the two lateral probes and measure the potential difference between the other two probes. The apparent resistivity is calculated and can be exploited by drawing electrical resistivity profiles. Figure 5: Electrical resistivity measurements.


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  • Infrared thermography is a very attractive technique as a new application to civil engineering structures as it is a noncontact, time-saving and cost-saving method. Furthermore, the equipment is often small and practical to use Figure 6. This technique provides thermal images that represent the spatial distribution of the thermal radiation of the surface of the concrete apparent surface temperature. To analyse results, it is necessary to combine thermal images with visual images. Figure 6: Infrared thermography measurement device.

    The principle is to obtain the change in dielectric properties of concrete between two electrodes from the resonant frequency of an oscillating circuit.

    ICE manual of Construction Materials

    The electrodes are two parallel metallic plates laid on the concrete Klysz et al. Thus, the resonant frequency depends on the concrete's properties. These measurements have been shown to be very sensitive to the concrete moisture content Derobert et al. Figure 7: Capacitor apparatus Photo courtesy of X. The combined results are shown for each of the three test methods in Figures 8 , 9 and On the three graphs Figures 8 , 9 and 10 , the dotted curved line simply comes from a second-order polynomial regression on the experimental data.

    Its only merit is to highlight the gross trend but it does not provide any explanation. Figure 8: Average values and error bars of electrical resistivity measured in three points, along the keystone of the duct.