Sensors (Apr 2020)

Detection of Multiple Cracks in Four-Point Bending Tests Using the Coda Wave Interferometry Method

  • Xin Wang,
  • Joyraj Chakraborty,
  • Antoine Bassil,
  • Ernst Niederleithinger

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 20, no. 7
p. 1986


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The enlargement of the cracks outside the permitted dimension is one of the main causes for the reduction of service life of Reinforced Concrete (RC) structures. Cracks can develop due to many causes such as dynamic or static load. When tensile stress exceeds the tensile strength of RC, cracks appear. Traditional techniques have limitations in early stage damage detection and localisation, especially on large-scale structures. The ultrasonic Coda Wave Interferometry (CWI) method using diffuse waves is one of the most promising methods to detect subtle changes in heterogeneous materials, such as concrete. In this paper, the assessment of the CWI method applied for multiple cracks opening detection on two specimens based on four-point bending test is presented. Both beams were monitored using a limited number of embedded Ultrasonic (US) transducers as well as other transducers and techniques (e.g., Digital Image Correlation (DIC), LVDT sensors, strain gauges, and Fiber Optics Sensor (FOS)). Results show that strain change and crack formation are successfully and efficiently detected by CWI method even earlier than by the other techniques. The CWI technique using embedded US transducers is undoubtedly a feasible, efficient, and promising method for long-term monitoring on real infrastructure.