Nondestructive bridge deck testing with air-coupled impact-echo and infrared thermography

Seong Hoon Kee, Taekeun Oh, John S. Popovics, Ralf W. Arndt, Jinying Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two different nondestructive test (NDT) methods, air-coupled impact-echo (IE) and infrared (IR) thermography are evaluated on a full-scale simulated reinforced concrete bridge deck containing simulated delamination and cracking defects. The IE data are presented as two-dimensional frequency maps and spectral B-scan lines. The IR data are presented as temperature maps on the concrete surface. The lateral boundaries of the detected delaminations are also indicated in the images. The results obtained from each of the individual NDT methods show reasonably good agreement with most of the actual defects. The advantages and limitations of each method to characterize defects are discussed. The consistency and sensitivity of each method are also investigated. Finally, a simple data fusion technique is proposed to improve effectiveness of the individual test data. The findings from this study demonstrate that the combination of air-coupled IE and IR thermography tests is a practical option for consistent and rapid in situ evaluation of reinforced concrete bridge decks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)928-939
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Bridge Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Air-coupled impact echo
  • Concrete bridge deck
  • Data fusion
  • Delamination
  • Infrared thermography
  • Nondestructive test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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