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Non-contact Ultrasonic Pulse

Velocity Method for Concrete


Gonzalo P. Cetrangolo
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

CEE 498 Prof. Daniel Kuchma


March, 2006

Outline

Introduction
Stress wave propagation and Methods for Structure

Maximize Energy transfer


Quarter wavelength matching layer

Experimental results through air


Experimental results through concrete
Conclusions

Stress-Wave propagation in solid


half-space elastic media
Stress waves occur when pressure or deformation is applied
suddenly (such as by an impact source)
P-wave: longitudinal waves propagate parallel to the
propagation direction:
E:Youngs Modulus
VL= [E(1-n)/(r(1+n)(1-2n))]
r: Mass density
n: Poissons ratio

S-wave: shear waves propagate perpendicular to the


G:Shear Modulus
propagation direction: Vs= [G/r]
r: Mass density

R-wave: surface waves propagation only near surface


(half space): VR/Vs=(0.87+1.12n)/(1+n) n: Poissons ratio

Stress-Wave Methods for structures

Ultrasound through thickness


Time of flight
Ultrasound echo-method
Time of flight
Spectral Analysis of Surface Waves
Dispersion curves
Impact Echo method
Resonance frequency

Ultrasonic Methods
Pulse Velocity Method
Direct Configuration

Pulse echo Method


Indirect Configuration

ACI document 228-1R

ACI document 228-1R

The timer shows the time of


flight of the direct through
thickness P-wave arrival

Arrival time of a stress


wave reflected from a
defect (difference in
Acoustic Impedance) is
determined

VL = Travel path / time of fight


In both cases, transducers are coupled to the surface using a
viscous material such as grease.

Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity

UPV has been used to asses the quality of


the concrete successfully for several years
Identify areas of concrete damage
Locate defects and voids
Locate delaminations
Estimate in place-strength by using
calibration curve
Coupling agent is needed between
transducers and specimen

Benefits of Air coupled


Coupling agent between the transducers
and concrete surface are time and labor
intensive
Results variability caused by difference in
the pressure use to keep the transducer
clamp to the surface
Allow to test concrete having rough surface
Allow faster inspection

Product information
The Ultran Group is the only producer of
Non-contact transducers for through
thickness measurements
The only technical information available of
these transducers is in their own webpage
The cost of the equipment is U$S 20,000,
which include a field computer, transducers
set and a pulser unit.

Air-Concrete reflection/transmission
Normal incidence
R= Ar = Z2-Z1
Z1+Z2
Ai
T=1+R = 2*Z2
Z1+Z2
R: ratio of sound pressure of the reflected wave to
the sound pressure of the incident wave
T: ratio of sound pressure of the transmitted wave to
sound pressure of the incident wave
Ai: Amplitude of the incident wave
Ar: Amplitude of the reflected wave
Ar: Amplitude of the transmitted wave
Z1: specific Acoustic Impedance of material 1
Z2: specific Acoustic Impedance of material 2

Material 1 Material 2
Ai

At
Ar

Air-Concrete interface
the 2s)
Zair= 0.4 kg/(m
Zconcrete = 9*106 kg/(m2s)
R=0.9999999
T=0.0000001

Maximize wave energy transfer


Quarter wavelength Matching layer
Wave energy transfer between two distinct media is maximized
when an appropriate intermediate impedance matching layer is inserted.

Z VL * r

Matching Layer

Air
Waves in
phase

Z theoretical _ value Z air * Z PZT 4


Vibrating Crystal

Select and attach the optimal impedance matching layer between the
vibrating piezoelectric crystal in the UPV transducer (PZT-4) and air

Experimental Setup
Matching layer caps
Sender

Receiver

Air Gap

Oscilloscope
Pulser unit

LeCroy LT344

A pair of 24 kHz modified transducers with matching layer caps

Pulser unit (UPV Pulser from James Instruments)


Oscilloscope LeCroy LT344

Experimental Results through air


Modified transducer set with matching layer

FFT

Amplitude

Amplitude(Volts)

Time domain signal through air

Time(ms)

19.5 kHz

Frequency (Hz)

Unmodified contact transducer set

FFT

Time(ms)

Amplitude

Amplitude(Volts)

Time domain signal through air

19.5 kHz

Frequency (Hz)

Experimental Results through air


Signals through different air gaps
Modified transducer set

Amplitude(FFT)

250

The original transducers provide a


narrow-band ultrasonic pulse at a
center frequency of 19.5 kHz.

200
150
100

The transducer has a 38 mm


diameter face, giving a near-field
distance in air of 16 mm.

50
0
0

18

27

Air gap distance (mm)

36

45

Unmodified transducer set

Maximum received Amplitude at


9mm distance between
transducers face.

Amplitude(FFT)

90

60

30

Local maximum every 9mm.

18

27

Air gap distance (mm)

36

45

Behavior at 9 mm air gap?


Air gap resonance matches transducer crystal resonance
V air = 344 m/s

f PZT crystal= 19.5kHz

V air= 2 * D air gap* fPZT-4

crystal

D air gap = V air / (2* fPZT-4

crystal)

D air gap= 9 mm
Resonance at 9 mm, 18 mm, 27 mm, 36 mm,

D = n * l/2

n = 1, 2, 3

Impedance matching layers provide 300% increase in received


signal amplitude through air.

Measurement through concrete


Signal through air
Experimental setup (air)
7.2 cm of air gap

Foam

Foam

Signal through concrete


Experimental setup (concrete)
9mm air gap

Foam

Foam

5.4 cm of concrete

V concrete= d concrete / (time concrete - time air+ d concrete / V air)

Conclusions
Impedance matching layers provide 300% increase in
received signal amplitude through air
Impedance matching layers and 9 mm air gap between the
modified transducers and the sample enable contact-less
through-thickness P-wave Velocity measurements in
concrete specimens up to 10 cm thick showing similar
behavior as standard full contact UPV
Averaging of the received signal increase the SNR

References
[1] ACI Committee 228 (2003). In-place methods to estimate concrete
strength (ACI 228.1R-03). American Concrete Institute, Farmington
Hills, Mich.
[2] Berriman, J., Purnell, P., Hutchins, D.A. and Neild, A.
(2005).Humidity and Aggregate Content Correction Factors for Aircoupled Ultrasonic Evaluation of Concrete Ultrasonics 43 (4) (211217).
[3] Gomez Alvarez-Arenas, Tomas E. (2004). Acoustic Impedance
Matching of Piezoelectric Transducers to the Air, IEEE
Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, And Frequency Control
51 (5) (624-633) .
[4] Krautkramer, J. and Krautkramer, H. (1990). Ultrasonic Testing of
Materials, fourth ed., New York, Springer-Verlag.
[5] Lide, David R., ed.(1998-1999). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and
Physics, 79th ed., Cleveland, Ohio.