Fast Reference‐free Crack Measurement (RACM) System in Transportation Infrastructures using Noncontact Ultrasound

According to a 2017 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the infrastructure of the United States requires a $2.0 trillion investment to return it to good condition by 2025. Distributed micro-cracking and delaminated damage in the transportation system’s concrete infrastructure has caused more deterioration by the cracks and more delamination by corrosion, adversely affecting the system components’ mechanical strength, stiffness and permeability. Although previous research identified that ultrasonic and other nondestructive approaches can characterize distributed damage content in inhomogeneous infrastructure, the methods are either insensitive to early stages (low crack volumes) of damage, not repeatable, or inconsistent. These methods have an inadequate contact system that cannot measure the damage quickly enough as they require a contact to the surface and a more sophisticated reference data system that can more readily respond to the nature of the heterogeneous aspects of the problem sites. This proposal offers a solution in the form of a reference‐free acoustic crack measurement (RACM) system. The RACM system offers in‐situ or absolute damage index values. The in‐situ monitoring system does not need any control or reference data to assess the infrastructure. The RACM is also a fully contactless damage assessment system. The deployment of inexpensive but high performance contactless (air‐coupled) ultrasonic sensors offers the potential to overcome some current limitations and to provide a pathway for automated rapid inspection of transportation infrastructures. This system will provide quantifiable cost and time effort benefits for better monitoring and better decision making, which will increase the infrastructure service life. The proposed RACM system’s most important contribution is cutting the remediation costs of transportation concrete infrastructure through a more efficient detection and analysis system.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $44993
    • Contract Numbers:

      CTEDD 017‐11

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      University of Texas at Arlington

      Box 19308
      Arlington, TX  United States  76019-0308

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      University of Texas at Arlington

      Box 19308
      Arlington, TX  United States  76019-0308
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Texas at Arlington

      Box 19308
      Arlington, TX  United States  76019-0308
    • Principal Investigators:

      Ham, Suyun

    • Start Date: 20170901
    • Expected Completion Date: 20180831
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01660141
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Center for Transportation, Equity, Decisions and Dollars
    • Contract Numbers: CTEDD 017‐11
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: Feb 15 2018 12:16PM