Quality evaluation of aged concrete by ultrasound

Hasson M. Tavossi, Bernhard R. Tittmann, Frederic Cohen-Tenoudji

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The velocity, attenuation and scattering of ultrasonic waves measured in concrete, mortar and cement structures can be used to evaluate their quality with weathering and aging. In this investigation the hardening of concrete mixture with time is monitored by ultrasonic waves under different conditions of temperature and water to cement ratio. The measured ultrasonic parameters can then be utilized to determine the final quality of the completely cured concrete structure from initial measurements. The quality of a concrete structure is determined by its resistance to compression and its rigidity, which should be within the acceptable values required by the design specifications. The internal and external flaws that could lower its strength can also be detected by ultrasonic technique. Aging process of concrete by weathering can be simulated in the laboratory by subjecting the concrete to extremes of cold and hot cycles in the range of temperatures normally encountered in summer and winter. In this research ultrasonic sensors in low frequency range of 40 to 100 kHz are used to monitor the quality of concrete. Ultrasonic pulses transmitted through the concrete sample are recorded for analysis in time and frequency domains. Ultrasonic waves penetration in concrete of the order of few feet has been achieved in laboratory. Data analyses on ultrasonic signal velocity, spectral content, phase and attenuation, can be utilized to evaluate, insitu, the quality and mechanical strength of concrete.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Mar 3 1999
EventProceedings of 1999 Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Materials and Composites III - Newport Beach, CA, USA
Duration: Mar 3 1999Mar 5 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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