Affiliations: Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA | Federal Highway Administration, McLean, VA, USA
Note:  Corresponding author. N. Gucunski, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Condition assessment of concrete bridge decks using nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technologies concentrates on the assessment of corrosion, delamination and concrete quality. Various NDE technologies can be used for this purpose. To expedite the data collection and analysis process, a fully autonomous robotic system was developed that in a complementary way implements four NDE technologies and digital imaging. The NDE technologies include impact echo (IE), ground penetrating radar (GPR), ultrasonic surface waves (USW) and electrical resistivity (ER). The IE is used in detection and characterization of delamination. The GPR is used to identify bridge deck areas with likely deterioration and highly corrosive environment, to map all metallic objects and to measure the concrete cover. The USW provides information about the concrete quality through a measurement of concrete elastic modulus. Finally, the ER enables the assessment of a potential for corrosive environment. The application of the listed NDE technologies using a robotic platform allows data collection at far higher production rates than the manual collection using a group of technicians, and at a significantly reduced cost. Both the manual and robotic applications of NDE technologies are discussed.