Analysis of air-coupled system for exciting and sensing stress waves in concrete
MetadataShow full item record
Nondestructive testing (NDT) plays a more important role today in evaluating structural integrity of civil infrastructure. Impact-echo method (IE) is an effective stress wave based NDT method for locating defects in concrete structures. However, the contact requirement between sensor and concrete surface significantly limits the test speed and wide application of this method to large-scale structures such as bridges. Recent studies show the feasibility of air-coupled sensing, which eliminates the contact requirement and thus accelerates IE test. To further improve the test speed, a fully non-contact IE test using air-coupled sensing and excitation is investigated in this dissertation. This dissertation provides the theoretical basis required for developing an effective air-coupled IE method. For air-coupled sensing, 2D numerical simulations are first conducted to study the wave propagation in the air-solid system during IE tests. Visualized wavefield indicates that parabolic reflectors can effectively enhance the IE signal strength by focusing airborne IE waves to an air-coupled sensor. To maximize signal amplification, an analytical solution for the focused axial pressure response of a parabolic reflector with incident plane waves is derived. This solution is used to determine the reflector geometry that gives the highest focusing gain. For air-coupled excitation, a focused spark source with an ellipsoidal reflector is employed to excite stress waves in concrete. Numerical simulations and available nonlinear computer code (KZKTexas) are employed to investigate the reflector geometry that gives the highest stress wave excitation in solids. An acoustical muffler that works with the focused spark source is proposed to decrease the spark-induced noise level. The effect of source receiver spacing on received IE signals is studied. Simulated wavefield demonstrates that the mode shape of IE surface displacement distribution along the radial direction matches the Bessel function of the first kind (J0). Numerical 3D simulation results show the relation between focused IE signals and source receiver spacings, and indicate the spacing should be minimized to obtain better focused IE signal strength. Air-coupled IE test using through transmission setup is also investigated.