Nondestructive detection of delamination in concrete slabs

Parisa Shokouhi, Jens Wöstmann, Gerhard Schneider, Boris Milmann, Alexander Taffe, Herbert Wiggenhauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The delamination of concrete slabs is the separation along a plane roughly parallel to, and generally near, the surface. Corrosion-induced delamination is a common problem in old concrete bridge decks. If undetected, delaminations could expand, reach the surface, and result in spalling. Early detection of delamination is necessary for planning timely repairs that prevent costly deck replacement projects. Most bridge owners rely on routine visual and traditional surveys of bridge deck conditions. These surveys are highly subjective and can locate only large shallow delaminated zones. Several nondestructive testing (NDT) techniques have recently been employed for bridge deck evaluation to obtain more objective and comprehensive assessment. The reliability of applicable methods needs to be established before a greater role for NDT in routine inspections can be encouraged. This paper presents a validation study aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of three NDT techniques, namely impact echo, ultrasound (US) echo, and US linear array, in detection of delamination. This study is unique because the subject test specimens were deteriorated bridge deck segments preserved from the demolition of a prestressed box girder bridge. The results of the tests conducted on one of the specimens are presented and discussed here: impact echo provided satisfactory overall assessment, but the individual results were often difficult to interpret; US echo detected deep delaminations but not shallow ones; and US linear array located the extent of deep delaminations and provided indications of shallow ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-113
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2251
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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