Monitoring the setting times and strength gain of mortar using ultrasonic guided waves

J. L. Borgerson, Henrique Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A guided wave approach that characterises the setting and hardening of early age mortar during the first twenty-four hours of hydration is presented. Using a through-transmission system, the method measures the energy leakage of the fundamental torsional wave mode from a cylindrical steel rod to the surrounding mortar. The evolution of the mortar properties are related to the energy leakage or attenuation of the guided wave. The study shows that the technique is useful for monitoring the strength development and the microstructure of varying water-cement ratios (w/c = 0.40, 0.50, and 0.60). In addition, the effects of chemical (accelerant and retardant) and mineral (silica fume and fly ash) admixtures on the guided wave are also presented and discussed. Compressive strength and setting time measurements were performed on the various mortar mixtures. Correlations were developed relating the energy leakage of the guided wave to the compressive strength and the setting times of the mortar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-676
Number of pages7
JournalInsight: Non-Destructive Testing and Condition Monitoring
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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