This paper explores the feasibility of detecting and quantifying corrosion and delamination at the interface between reinforcing steel bar and concrete using ultrasonic guided waves. The problem of corrosion and delamination of the reinforcing steel in the aging infrastructure has increased significantly in the last three decades and is likely to keep on increasing. Ultrasonic cylindrical guided waves that can propagate a long distance along the reinforcing steel bar are found to be sensitive to the interface conditions between steel bar and concrete. Ultrasonic transducers are used to launch and detect cylindrical guided waves along the steel bar. The traditional ultrasonic testing methods, for instance the pulse-echo method, where reflection, transmission, and scattering of longitudinal waves are used for detecting large voids in concrete, are not very efficient for detecting corrosion and delamination at the interface between concrete and steel bar. For this study four sets of specimens were prepared. They are rebars and plain steel bars with corrosion and physical separation. Transducers used during the experiment are the Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) and the Piezoelectric Transducer (PZT). The experiment suggests that the guided wave inspection technique is feasible for the health monitoring of reinforced concrete structures. It also reveals that the ultrasonic guided waves are sensitive to the type of steel used and to the rib patterns on the reformed steel bars.

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