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European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering


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Progress in ultrasonic tendon duct imaging


Martin Krause , Klaus Mayer , Martin Friese , Boris Milmann , Frank Mielentz & Gregor Ballier
a b a b a a a

BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Unter den Eichen 87, 12205, Berlin, Germany E-mail:
b

University of Kassel, Wilhelmshher Allee 71, 34121, Kassel, Germany E-mail: Published online: 04 Oct 2011.

To cite this article: Martin Krause , Klaus Mayer , Martin Friese , Boris Milmann , Frank Mielentz & Gregor Ballier (2011): Progress in ultrasonic tendon duct imaging, European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering, 15:4, 461-485 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19648189.2011.9693341

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Progress in ultrasonic tendon duct imaging


Martin Krause* Klaus Mayer** Martin Friese* Boris Milmann* Frank Mielentz* Gregor Ballier**
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* BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing Unter den Eichen 87, 12205 Berlin, Germany martin.krause@bam.de ** University of Kassel Wilhelmshher Allee 71, 34121 Kassel, Germany kmayer@uni-kassel.de
ABSTRACT. Ultrasonic imaging of tendon ducts enables the precise localisation of grouting faults in many cases. Additionally to well known criteria for detecting grouting faults in tendon ducts recently new possibilities were developed. Two main effects influence the complex behaviour of wave propagation and reflection: a) different arrangement and number of strands or internal rebars; b) superposition of reflecting signals and different wave modes propagating into the interface region around the tendon duct. In order to understand the experimental results, EFIT modelling is performed (EFIT: Elastodynamic Finite Integration Technique). RSUM. La mthode dcho ultrasonore en combinaison avec des calculs de reproduction permet la localisation prcise des inclusions dair dans des tubes de bton prcontraint. Deux aspects essentiels ont une action sur le comportement des ondes lastiques en propagation et rflexion : a) diffrents types et quantits de cbles dans les tubes prcontraints ; b) superposition des ondes refltes et des modes diffrents des ondes lastiques qui se propagent autour des tubes prcontraints. Pour comprendre des effets diffrents, la modlisation par EFIT est applique (EFIT: Elastodynamic Finite Integration Technique). KEYWORDS:

ultrasonic imaging, prestressed concrete structures, reconstruction calculation, SAFT, EFIT Modelling.

MOTS-CLS : mthode dimagerie ultrasonore, bton prcontraint, calculs de reconstruction, SAFT (Synthetic Aperture Focusing Technique), modlisation par EFIT.

DOI:10.3166/EJECE.15.461-485 2011 Lavoisier, Paris

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1. Introduction The investigation of post-tensioned tendon ducts is one of the most important and fascinating testing problems for concrete structures. Much progress was achieved in the past two decades by the aid of multidisciplinary research. Normally the strands in tendon ducts dont corrode, because they are passivated in the alkaline environment of the grouting mortar. Nevertheless grouting faults may appear in all regions of tendon ducts and then may cause areas of high risk for serious damage. (see e.g. Florida Department of Transportation 2003 (Eichinger et al., 2000)). In order to investigate this, also regular damage assessment of bridges, which are planed to be demolished, has to be considered (Vogel, 2002). Non-destructive testing applying mechanical waves like Impact Echo (Sansalone et al., 1997; Wiggenhauser, 2003; Tinkey et al., 2005; Zhu et al., 2007; Abraham et al., 2009) and ultrasonic imaging (Schickert, 1995; Krause et al., 1997; Krieger et al., 1998) give encouraging results for analysing the interior of tendon ducts. The present paper deals with progress in ultrasonic imaging. In recent time ultrasonic imaging techniques much advanced for localization of grouting faults in tendon ducts. The most established way to do this is the synthetic aperture approach. The data is measured in a 2D-area of the surface and the reflected signals are imaged as B-scans and C-scans, respectively. In most cases the data is evaluated by a 2D- or 3D-reconstruction calculation (SAFT, Synthetic Aperture Focusing Technique) (Schickert et al., 2003; Schickert, 2005; Streicher et al., 2006; de la Haza et al., 2008) and Fourier Transform SAFT (FT-SAFT, Mayer et al., 1990). It results in a three-dimensional representation of the reflections from the inside of the reflected volume. Imaging is performed by sections and projections in these data sets. The longitudinal and cross sections (also-called SAFT-B-scans) and the depth section parallel to the surface (SAFT-C-scans) represent the exact location of the tendon duct and allow analysing the grouting condition. Most practical applications at post-tensioned concrete structures are performed using point contact transducers with dry coupling (12 transmitting and 12 receiving transducers) (Kozlov et al., 2006). The medium frequency is 55 kHz corresponding to a wavelength of about 40 mm in concrete. The measuring technique works automatically applying scanning systems. In order to accelerate the ultrasonic data acquisition, a linear array has recently been developed (Kozlov et al., 2006). In addition to 3D-evaluation of such linear array measuring results (Krause, Grfe et al., 2008) a comparison of phase analysis between scanning and linear array measurements is presented in this paper. Taking into account both intensity and phase value of the signals reflected from the top of the tendon duct, allows identifying well-grouted areas and grouting defects with the help of two criteria (Krause, Milmann et al., 2008; Mayer et al., 2008):

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1. In the magnitude representation, air pockets show significantly higher reflection intensity (total reflection) than grouted steel rebars or strands do. 2. When imaging the phase value or signal shape of the reflected signal, air-filled areas and grouted steel bars or strands can be distinguished by a phase difference of around 180. A third effect is known from several measurement results on tendon ducts: In several cases reflecting signals appear in the SAFT-B-scans corresponding to the depth of the bottom of the tendon duct. In order to decide whether this type of signal can reliably be applied to distinguish grouted and ungrouted areas, the propagation of elastic waves is calculated for different arrangements of tendon ducts with and without air pockets. These calculations are carried out applying EFIT (Elastodynamic Finite Integration Technique), a well-established modelling tool for understanding wave propagation in concrete structures (Marklein, 2002).

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2. Ultrasonic imaging: fast measurement In order to accelerate the ultrasonic data acquisition, a linear array was developed in co-operation between BAM and ACSYS (Kozlov et al., 2006). It consists of 10 lines of 4 dry contact shear wave transducers working at 50 kHz. The distance of the lines is 35 mm in the present version. The transducers and the electronics are mounted in a handheld box easy to apply at concrete surfaces. The ten lines are arranged as a multistatic array, which means that first one line acts as the transmitter and all others as receivers, then the second as the transmitter, and so forth as shown in Figure 1a. The data transfer is set up to measure and store the whole data set in less than one second per location.

[mm]

a)

b)

Figure 1. a) measuring principle Linear Array; b) sketch of tendon duct D1 from large concrete slab of BAM

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The data measured along a line can be combined to one data set and is evaluated using a fast FT-SAFT reconstruction calculation. Combined with 3D imaging, the scatterers and reflectors in the volume of interest can quickly be analyzed on site with cross and longitudinal sections as well as depth sections and phase evaluation (corresponding to ultrasonic SAFT-B- and C-scans) (Krause, Milmann et al., 2008; Friese et al., 2008). Test series were performed in order to assess the capability of the new linear scanner in comparison with the automated scanner equipped with a transmitter/receiver (T/R) probe. The measurements were carried out at a BAM test site. It is the so called large concrete slab (LCS) with several tendon ducts containing numerous well defined artificial grouting faults constructed for comparative tests described elsewhere (Taffe et al., 2003; Krause, Milmann et al., 2008). Such grouting faults are completely or partly voided regions of ducts, similar to really existing examples. Figure 2 shows an example of the result for a tendon duct with a diameter of 40 mm and a concrete cover and geometry as depicted in Figure 1b. This tendon duct is labelled D1 as in paper (Krause, Milmann et al., 2008). A 16 mm mono strand is used here for experimental reasons, which is usually not used in building practise.

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Figure 2. Ultrasonic imaging of tendon duct by Linear Array measurement: a) location of grouting faults, verified by -radiography, b) magnitude, c) phase value

The phase value representation (Figure 2c) indicates a clear phase value difference between the grouted areas and two ungrouted areas 1 and 2. In the grouted area the phase value is predominantly about 200, whereas it is about 40 in the region of the air pockets in void 1 and void 2. This is a phase difference of 160, which is close to the expected value for plan reflectors (180) between air and steel reflection. However the areas corresponding to the phase value 40 are larger than expected. There are two probable explications:

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a) At the left hand side (x = 0 ... 0.80 m) there are no strands in the duct but it is filled with grouting mortar only. This leads to the same expected phase value as for air pockets, because the acoustic impedance of mortar is smaller than for concrete. b) There are probably additional unintended air pockets at the top of the duct between x = 1.20 m and 1.60 m, as well as between 2.60 m and 2.80 m. These defects are not thick enough to be verified by -radiography (Krause, Milmann et al., 2008). The comparison of the results pictured in the cited paper with the current result depicted in Figure 2 shows that they are nearly identical.

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Consequently, both measuring methods show similar results. This means that the advantage of the faster handheld measurement using a linear array can be used for magnitude and phase evaluation.

3. Ultrasonic imaging: signals from the bottom of tendon ducts Experience with ultrasonic imaging of tendon ducts and modelling shows that four different inner grouting conditions of tendon ducts can be distinguished: 1. Completely grouted. 2. Completely voided. 3. Completely grouted but delaminations between duct and grouting mortar. 4. Partly grouted. Case No 3 means that the duct is correctly grouted but the mortar was shrinking during hardening and will cause minor delamination between the duct and mortar. If the shrinking process results in an even spacing around the tendon, it would result in a total reflection of ultrasonic waves because the ultrasonic oscillation amplitude is typically less than one micrometre. That means that a completely voided duct and a duct with shrunken mortar would provide identical imaging results. Experience with opened tendon ducts shows that the shrinking process is not always uniform and may not always have the same consequence. For example light rust films may partially cause bonding between duct and mortar or the contact pressure of the strands may slow down the shrinking process. Anyway it should be considered that high ultrasonic back scatter intensity of ducts does not clearly indicate poor grouting conditions. Also, mortar composition and additives used in modern structures have to be taken into account. From several measuring campaigns using ultrasonic imaging it is known that signals arrive from the top as well as from the bottom of tendon ducts. Up to now it is not clear which part of this signal is caused by backscatter from the interior of the duct and from wave modes travelling around the duct. This was first discovered in measuring the so-called FBS 1 specimen where the first systematic imaging studies on tendon ducts were carried out (Krause et al., 2003). In order to analyse the origin

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of these reflecting signals, the dependence on tendon diameter is listed for 5 examples in Table 1. Two of the examples are depicted in Figures 3 and 4.

Table 1. Depth of reflecting signals of tendon ducts in different specimens and structures
Duct Diameter [mm] 85 85 45 100 65 Concrete cover top side [mm] 267 267 167 180 341 461 204 225 Depth of bottom side signal [mm] 380 364 242 246 490 566 273 306 Difference [mm] 113 97 66 ... 75 105 149 69 81

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FBS 1 FBS 2 Railway Bridge Road bridge Viaduct

From the table and the examples it can be seen that the difference between top and bottom signal does not correspond either to the diameter of the duct or the perimeter. In addition, it is not stable for a certain tendon duct type. So in Table 1 the span of the extreme values is listed. The signal appears 1.1 and 1.5 times deeper than the duct diameter. This factor is not precise enough to decide whether circulating or transmitting waves cause the effect.

Figure 3. Ultrasonic imaging of tendon ducts in a railway bridge

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Figure 4. Example of road bridge: top and so called bottom side signal of tendon duct (diameter 100 mm), magnitude representation

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In cases where it was possible to verify the grouting condition of the ducts investigated in bridges, good-quality grouting was confirmed. Otherwise it is known from previous work that circulating creeping waves around the duct should mainly appear in ungrouted ducts (Krause, Milmann et al., 2008). Penetrating waves are especially influenced by inner duct conditions but may additionally cause surface waves at the surrounding interface. To look more precisely into these issues, several cases were investigated by EFIT modelling and are described in the following sections. The main interest is focussed on learning more about the behaviour of ultrasonic pulses scattered and reflected by partially ungrouted tendon ducts.

4. Modelling ultrasonic wave propagation in and around tendon ducts 4.1. Principle of EFIT Modelling Modelling was performed applying software developed at the University of Kassel, which uses the 2D- and 3D-EFIT Code (2D- and 3D-Elastodynamic Finite Integration Technique (EFIT) (Marklein, 2002). It is an implementation of the finite integration time domain method for the discretization of the elastodynamic field equations and uses a discretization of the elastic properties of the material and the vector field quantities in a range of 1/10 of the wavelength. The large amount of computing memory necessary for 3D simulation can be achieved by parallel computing based on the Message Passing Interface (MPI) standard.

4.2. Application for different conditions of tendon ducts For a better understanding of experimental results, the propagation of elastic waves in and around a duct is calculated in a first step by applying 2D EFIT. This means, that the 2D structure of a tendon duct is fitted very well, but the source of the sound field is in that case not a 3D-point but a 2D- line with infinite extension to the third dimension. The main difference in the observation plain is the amplitude behaviour of the wave front which is 1/square root of distance instead of 1/distance.

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In the first step the proper filling conditions are investigated separately: air, pure mortar, pure steel, and then steel bar and strands in the duct. The chosen example of a tendon duct containing strands is practise oriented and uses a tendon type frequently applied in Germany between 1960 and 1970 (Leonhardt, 1973). Finally, air pockets are added. This article only contains a few important results of the study in detail, other results and conclusions are briefly summarized. For modelling, 100 mm and 40 mm diameter tendon ducts were placed in concrete and provided with a concrete cover of 100 mm and 150 mm, respectively.

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The 2D-EFIT ultrasonic experiment was performed using two pointtransducers types: 100 kHz shear wave (s-wave) and 200 kHz pressure wave (p-wave) transducers. The polarization of shear waves is oriented within the paper plane (SV-arrangement). The transducer was placed vertically above the tendon in both cases. The frequency is chosen in such a way that the wavelength is comparable for both wave types (corresponding to about l = 20 mm for concrete with cp = 4000 m/s). For point like transducers an excitation with polarization into the direction of the tendon duct has to be simulated by a 3D EFIT-Simulation. Results for those arrangements are not considered here. Also not considered is the influence on the directivity pattern of a 2D arrangement of point contact transducers. The main question is: what is the influence of the tendon conditions on the imaging results? And, the opposite: what can we learn from the imaging results about the inner tendon conditions? The approach is, to first discuss the pure idealized cases such as air pocket, pure mortar and a massive steel bar. The first result is that there is only very little difference between the idealized pure conditions and the real conditions in specimens and structures: voided duct, duct grouted with mortar and grouted steel bar. The reason is that the influence of the duct casing (thickness 0.5 mm) compared to the wavelength (20 mm) is nearly negligible. This is an expected result but was verified by the modelling series. The difference between a pure steel cylinder in concrete and a grouted steel bar in a tendon duct (duct diameter 100 mm, steel bar diameter 90 mm) is visible in the modelling results because of the 5-mm mortar layer. But the difference can be neglected compared to the other effects, so this influence is not discussed in the paper. Hence, for the following detailed discussion three idealized cases (air filled, grouted with mortar only, grouted duct with steel bars) and one realistic practical situation (grouted, steel wires and air pocket) have been chosen. They are depicted at the top of Figures 6 and 7. Table 2 lists the elastic parameters applied for modelling. They correspond to the values measured on the BAM specimen FBS1 from which the experiments were first published in (Krause et al., 2003).

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Table 2. Main elastic parameters for EFIT modelling


Steel 7870 5900 3200 Air 1.29 343 Grouting mortar 1974 3560 2000 Concrete 2430 4326 2867

 [kg/m3] cp [m/s] cs [m/s]

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For the best comparison of the results for different grouting conditions concerning modelling as well as experimental findings, the results are presented as follows: For each grouting condition a typical snapshot of the wave propagation has been depicted below the result of the SAFT reconstructions for both magnitude and phase evaluation. The SAFT reconstruction has been applied to synthetic data obtained by moving the transducer along a line on the surface. We begin with the modelling series for 100-mm tendon ducts and shear (4.2.1) and pressure wave (4.2.2) insonofication for wavelength of about 20 mm (that means f = 100 and 200 kHz, respectively. The typical behaviour of the wave modes is compared in Subsection 4.2.3, before the behaviour of deeper penetrating 50 kHz shear-waves is investigated by modelling. 4.2.1. Shear wave (s-wave) excitation 100 kHz (SV arrangement)

a)

b)

Figure 5. a) wave modes emitted from shear wave point contact transducer; b) wave modes around air filled duct

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First the different wave modes appearing are summarized. The shear wave transducer produces a shear wave pulse in z-direction and two pressure wave pulses which travel at an angle of about 45 (Figure 5a). Additionally a Rayleigh wave pulse is excited. This follows the basic rules for point excitation (Langenberg et al., 2009). The p-wave component will not be further discussed, because it does not hit the duct. Next we describe the different wave modes for the example of an air filled duct. When the shear wave pulse arrives at the top of the duct, several effects appear as indicated in Figure 5, right and its corresponding table (snapshot after 79 2s). The pwave has already passed the duct (p). A weak head wave line can be observed (H), which typically connects the p-wave at the surface with the shear wave in the medium. The directly reflected shear wave pulse (s, r) travels in the direction of the surface. The component of the shear wave, which is not influenced by the duct, continues and passes the duct (s). Two p-wave pulses (p, c) originating from wave mode conversion during reflection of the s-wave travel upwards at an angle. A creeping wave moves around the concrete/air interface (cr). It steadily emits a shear wave (cr, e), which superimposes the passing component of the shear wave. In the following, the differences for the four different grouting conditions will be discussed. The main question is how the different fillings of the duct influence the backscatter from the interior and the circulating wave modes around the duct. This is done by comparing snapshots of the wave propagation. FT-SAFT reconstructions for synthetic A-scans are compared for both magnitude and phase evaluation. The results are presented in Figures 6 and 7. Common aspects In all SAFT reconstructions the first echo of the multiple echo series from reflection at the top of the duct is visible at z = 300 mm. Air-filled duct (Figure 6a) The shear wave reflection from the top of the duct is clearly visible (z = 150 mm). In the moment of the selected snapshot the wave nearly reaches the surface. Creeping shear waves circulate around the duct in both directions. The snapshot shows the moment before they cross the bottom of the duct. They continuously emit s-waves, which partly arrive at the surface. In the SAFT reconstruction three maxima are visible: the reflection from the top, the surrounding creeping wave at z = 280 mm and the first of multiple echoes at 300 mm. Tendon duct grouted with mortar (Figure 6b) In this case, the reflection from the top of the duct is weak because of similar acoustic impedances between concrete and mortar (note the different colour scales). The curvature of the duct and the smaller wave propagation velocity in mortar cause a focusing of the wave front towards the bottom of the tendon (see C in snapshot).

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100-mm air-filled duct (0.5-mm thick steel casing)

100-mm mortar-filled duct (0.5-mm thick steel casing)

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a)

b)

Figure 6. (s-wave modelling). EFIT modelling of wave propagation for 2 different filling conditions of a 100 mm tendon duct. Line 1: arrangement of duct; line 2: snapshots of wave propagation (air: after 100 s; mortar after 70 s); line 3, 4: SAFT reconstruction of artificial ultrasonic measuring signals (3: magnitude, 4: phase value)

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As the wave modes propagating outside of the duct are faster than those propagating in mortar, they continuously feed the wave front in mortar. Thus the reflection intensities from the top and bottom are identical (see SAFTreconstruction). The curved form of the image of the bottom is probably caused by defocusing effects, because the SAFT algorithm does not take into account the different wave speeds within the duct. The phase value of the top reflection corresponds to air reflection (smaller acoustic impedance). However, the phase value of the bottom reflection corresponds to larger acoustic impedance. The phase difference of 180 as in the theory of planar surfaces is not expected in the complicated geometrical arrangement here. Nevertheless the difference of about 130 is high enough to distinguish the indications. Duct with rebar (Figure 7a) As expected, the shear wave reflection is less intense than at air. The shear wave partly continues propagating in steel (marked B) and is reflected from the bottom of the duct. The depth is z = 240 mm, 10 mm less than the geometrical location. This is caused by the greater wave velocity in steel and the fact that the SAFT algorithm works with the velocity in concrete. Furthermore the reconstruction result is superimposed by artefacts, because the wave velocity is inhomogeneous. The magnitude of the reflection is rather weak, probaly caused by mode conversions at interfaces. In the phase representation of the top side reflection, the phase value is shifted by 180 compared to the reflection at air in the air filled duct (Figure 6a), as expected. The signal at 300 mm is the first of the multiple top reflections whereas the signal at z = 270 mm has probably been caused by mode conversion from internal reflected shear waves running at the duct/concrete interface. Duct containing strands and air pocket (Figure 7b) The snapshot of the wave propagation indicates that multi-scatter effects disturb the wave fronts. They do not arrive at the air layer, so no reconstruction signal has been obtained. The creeping wave is only intense around the air pocket. In other parts it interacts with the waves inside the ducts as for mortar and steel. In the magnitude diagram of the reconstruction some spots correspond to the location of strands. A weak signal at the top indicates the reflection from the grouting mortar. The phase diagram does not yield any helpful information in this case. Duct with dense amount of strands Another example for grouted tendon duct with strands shows that the transmission of waves depends on the amount and density of the strands. As visible in Figure 8, top, the wave front can still be recognized in the corresponding snapshot. This suggests that the waves are penetrating the dense strands like compact steel. But the correspondent movie shows that after being reflected at the air pocket they do not arrive at the measuring surface.

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100-mm duct with 90 mm steel bar, centered, grouted

100 mm duct with strands (rather dense), grouted and air pocket at the bottom side

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Figure 7. (s-wave modelling). EFIT modelling of wave propagation for 2 different filling conditions. Line 1: arrangement of duct; line 2: snapshots of wave propagation (steel: after 70 s; strands after 79 s); line 3, 4: SAFT reconstruction of artificial ultrasonic measuring signals (3: magnitude, 4: phase value)

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4.2.2. p-wave excitation In contrast to shear wave excitation, the p-wave point transducer emits a p-wave pulse with maximal magnitude perpendicular to the surface followed by shear wave pulses at an angle of 45 (Figure 9a). The aperture angle of the p-wave is larger than that of the s-wave in Figure 5. When the p-wave pulse hits the air filled duct, wave modes appear as depicted in Figure 9b. The p-wave is reflected towards the measuring surface and generates a mode-converted shear wave pulse, which travels at an angle to the axis of symmetry. The p-wave turns around the duct until it is partly shadowed. It produces a modeconverted s-wave that moves similar to an curved head wave, because the point where the mode conversion takes place moves faster than the s-wave can follow (similar to the effect of the Mach cone, see s,c(H) in Figure 9b (see e.g. Clancy (1975)). This effect does not turn around the air filled duct as the creeping waves do (described above).

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a)

b)

Figure 8. Top: Propagation of s-wave a) through a tendon duct filled with strands and air pocket at the bottom (model similar to Figures 7b and 11b), but high density of strands in one area. Bottom (for comparison): Propagation of s-wave filled with strands and air pocket (model already presented in Figures 7) snapshot at 79 s like image above

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a)

b)

Figure 9. a) snap shots of wave modes emitted from p-wave point contact transducer after 32 s; b) wave modes around air filled duct after 59 s

Reconstruction results To discuss the reconstruction results we focus on p-wave and creeping wave effects. Since the s-wave pulses also partly hit the duct, the same additional effects appear as described above. Common aspects The reconstruction results for the different cases are shown in Figures 10 and 11, similarly to the description of shear wave results. The curvature of the duct is much better imaged by the reconstruction results than by the shear wave imaging results. The reason for this is the larger opening angle of the p-wave emission (see Figure 10). Air-filled duct (Figure 10a) The main feature in the magnitude representation is the correct image of the curved top of the duct. The pulse shape as it is depicted in the phase image is opposite to the phase of the pulse transmitted into the duct and reflected at the bottom of the duct which indicates a phase jump (change of sign of reflection coefficient). The parabolic curve (B) in the magnitude representation is caused by the shear wave additionally generated and received by the point contact transducer (see

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Figure 9a). As its velocity is much smaller than the p-wave velocity applied to reconstruction calculation, this signal is not focussed in the image. Tendon duct grouted with mortar (Figure 10b) The features for the reflection at the top of the duct are nearly identical to the airfilled duct, but less intense. The phase behaviour corresponds to the smaller velocity in mortar (phase jump). The intense reflection at z = 270 mm is the reflection at the bottom of the duct already described for shear waves in mortar (Figure 6b). Also here the high intensity of this reflection is caused by the focussing effect of the waves. Compared to shear waves the effect is even more pronounced for p-waves: As it can be seen in the corresponding movies and is depicted in the snapshot, the power density increases in the mortar-filled duct caused by the focusing effect. This is the reason why for pwaves the reflection at the lower mortar/concrete interface becomes even more intense than the upper reflection (D in Figure 10, concrete/mortar interface). Duct with rebar (Figure 11a) The mortar layer around the rebar (5 mm) only marginally influences the passing wave fronts. So the phase behaviour of the reflected pulse corresponds to the reflection at steel (phase value about -30) and has the opposite phase value of the reflections at air or mortar, respectively (see Figure 10). The higher ultrasonic velocity in steel bends the transmitted wave front. Because of the same reason the reflection at the bottom is imaged at a smaller depth (z = 220 mm). The phase value at the bottom of the duct is influenced by the mortar layer. In a correspondent modelling evaluation for a pure steel bar in concrete the phase behaviour at the bottom clearly corresponds to a phase jump, as expected. Duct containing strands and air pocket (Figure 11b) The reconstructed magnitude representation shows backscatter signals from the mortar layer and from some single strands from the upper region. At the top of the duct the phase behaviour corresponds to the reflection of mortar. The curve shape of some outer strands analogously corresponds to steel with an opposite phase value. For the strands located very close to the top of the duct the phase value is not clear because of overlapping pulse shapes (Mayer et al., 2008). As visible in the snapshot, the transmitting wave front is only for half the depth of the duct. Below that, the scattering waves superimpose in an unstructured fashion. This explains why the reflection at the air layer is not visible in the reconstructed image.

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100-mm air-filled duct (0.5-mm thick steel sheet)

100-mm grouted duct with mortar only

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B D

Figure 10. (p-wave modelling). EFIT modelling of p-wave propagation for 2 different filling conditions: Line 1: arrangement of duct; line 2: snapshots of wave propagation at 68 s; line 3, 4: SAFT reconstruction of artificial ultrasonic measurement signals (3: magnitude, 4: phase)

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100-mm duct with 90 mm steel bar, centred, grouted

100 mm duct with strands (rather dense), grouted and air pocket at the bottom side

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Figure 11. (p-wave modelling). EFIT modelling of p-wave propagation for 2 different filling conditions: Line 1: arrangement of duct; line 2: snapshots of wave propagation Steel after 68 s, strands after 48 s); line 3, 4: SAFT reconstruction of artificial ultrasonic measurement signals (3: magnitude, 4: phase)

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4.2.3. Comparison of s-wave and p-wave behaviour A shear waves and p-waves based comparison of the ultrasonic imaging of differently grouted tendon ducts shows similar behaviour in some essential points. The phase behaviour of the reflected pulse is similar and corresponds to the behaviour of elastic waves at plane interfaces: the shear wave pulse does not change its sign for a reflection at air but changes it for the reflection at steel. The p-wave pulse also shows a phase difference of 180 between the two conditions, but in the opposite way.

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The wave fronts penetrating mortar and steel, respectively, propagating with their corresponding velocity, are reflected at the bottom of the duct and arrive at the measuring surface. In the SAFT reconstruction, the faster components are imaged in a smaller depth (steel) and slower components in a greater depth (mortar). For mortar, the focussing effect causes a more intense image of the bottom compared to the interface echo. Creeping waves circulate around the duct only in an air-filled duct irradiated by s-waves. The component travelling towards the measuring surface is rather weak compared to all back scattered wave pulses. Thus there is no particular interchange of circulating waves with the different fillings conditions of the duct, which could be measured at the surface. The imaged top region of the tendon ducts obtained by SAFT reconstruction is larger for p-wave than for shear wave irradiation. This is caused by the angle distribution of waves from a point source. For p-wave point contact the opening angle is 90whereas for shear wave point contact it is about 30 (compare Figures 8a and 5a. In case of a duct nearly completly filled with a reinforcing bar (only 5 mm space filled with grouting mortar) the bottom side reflection is only pronounced, when measured by p-wave insonification. For shear waves additional mode conversion weakens the intensity of the reflected shear wave. In the reconstructed images of tendons containing strands, some of the strands in the top layer are imaged precisely including the expected phase value (for example see Figure 11, right for p-waves). When the wave-pulses penetrate deeper into the duct, multiple scattering occurs making the wave fronts more and more indistinct. This is shown by the movies of the modelled wave propagation for s-waves and pwaves. Thus no reflected wave fronts move from the bottom of the duct towards the measuring surface. Modelling and reconstruction calculations with low frequency shear waves show that the ratio of wavelength to the diameter of strands to their distance importantly influences the penetration depth of the wave fronts. Thus one has to be careful in generalising the intensity of ultrasonic echo results for other duct arrangements.

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It is assumed that additional geometric conditions such as strand locations, diameter of strands, geometry of tendons as well as angle of incidence and interference of different wave modes play an important role. To gain knowledge on these issues, further studies including 2D- and 3D-modelling and tests on tendon ducts whose geometry is known will be performed.

4.3. Shear wave modelling 50 kHz

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Up to here modelling was performed with 100 kHz for shear waves and 200 kHz for p-waves resulting in a rather small wavelength ( = 20 mm in concrete). As desired this enables a clear distinction of different wave modes and a separate discussion of wave pulses penetrating in, diffracted by or circulating around the duct. As summarized in the previous Subsection (4.2.3), circulation waves play a marginal role only. Hence the main part of wave pulses considered in the SAFT reconstruction result from wave pulses backscattered from the duct and its inside. In the following we present a result of shear wave modelling for f = 50 kHz in order to be closer to practical applications, when a deeper penetration of the wave pulses is desired. Wave propagation and SAFT reconstruction is calculated for the grouted tendon with normal amount of strands containing an air pocket at the bottom (Figure 12a). Additionally this arrangement is modelled with wave propagation in inhomogeneous concrete, consisting of cement matrix and aggregates up to 16 mm (Figure 12b). The snapshots of wave propagation in line 2 and 3 compare the 100 kHz and 50 kHz wave fronts for the same point of time. From this and the correspondent movies of wave propagation one can read that for the 50 kHz ( = 45 mm) the wave front passes the strand/mortar area, arrives at the air pocket and is reflected towards the measuring surface. In the magnitude representation of the SAFT reconstruction the imaging of the top region of the duct is similar to the imaging with 100 kHz (see Figure 7b), but the spatial resolution is worse corresponding to the large wavelength. Otherwise there are signals below the bottom side of the duct in the depth range of 260 mm, which are not present in the SAFT reconstruction result for 100 kHz (Figure 7b). Additionally these signals are not present in a reconstruction results performed for the same arrangement of strands, but with mortar instead of air (not pictured). Considering the smaller velocity of ultrasonic pulses in mortar these signals at z = 260 mm are the reflection signals from the air pocket (marked E in Figure 12). They exist for the homogeneous concrete as well as for the more realistic concrete model. Apparently the 50 kHz wave fronts penetrate the mixture of strands and mortar in such a way that backscattered wave fronts arrive at the measuring surface more easily than for 100 kHz.

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100 kHz

50 kHz

Figure 12. Tendon duct grouted with strands and air pocket. a) homogeneous concrete. b) inhomogeneous concrete (cement matrix and aggregates) Snapshots of wave propagation for 100 kHz and 50 kHz shear waves (line 2 and 3). Line 4: SAFT Reconstruction from artificial A-scans, s-wave 50 kHz, Magnitude representation; E: Backscatter from top side of air pocket

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The deeper reflection appears at z = 260 mm, whereas the top of the air pocket is located at z = 230 mm. In relation to the distance between the top of the duct and the top of the air pocket (80 mm) this means a shift of the reflection of 30 mm (37%) because of change of velocity and scattering effects. Compared to the experimental results obtained at different post-tensioned concrete bridges and specimens summarized in Table 1, this shift is in the same order of magnitude.

5. Conclusions

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The results described in this paper show the advantage of applying ultrasonic imaging for analyzing tendon ducts in post-tensioned concrete structures. It is demonstrated that fast ultrasonic measurement using an ultrasonic linear array allows analysing tendon ducts as precisely as automated scanning by means of transmitter/receiver sensor heads. Thus, handheld measurement using a linear array is applicable in limited areas for fast imaging of tendon ducts including phase evaluation for localising grouting faults. Results obtained on post-tensioned concrete bridges have shown that, in addition to reflecting signals from the top of tendon ducts, signals from greater depth frequently appear also for well grouted ducts. In order to analyse their origin, Elastodynamic Finite Integration Technique modelling (EFIT) of different arrangements and grouting conditions was performed. EFIT is applied for shear wave and pressure wave propagation and SAFT imaging for different idealised grouting conditions. Reflection, scatter and mode conversion for the idealised cases (duct filled with air, mortar or rebar) can easily be understood based on the theory of elastic waves and the accordant elastic constants. Wave pulses are reflected, transmitted and wave converted at the top of the duct depending on the elastic constants at the corresponding interface. Creeping waves circulate around the duct only if an air-filled duct is exposed to shear waves. The component emitted toward the measuring surface is rather weak compared to the other effects. Thus there are no wave modes, which would enable the imaging of air inclusions at the bottom of tendon ducts containing strands. Finally modelling wave propagation and SAFT reconstruction for practiseoriented s-wave arrangement of 50 kHz demonstrate that the wave front passes the strand/mortar area and is reflected at an air pocket towards the measuring surface. The correspondent signal in the SAFT-reconstruction is located about 35% deeper than the topside of the air pocket because of different ultrasonic velocity and scattering in the duct. Hence for this example the shift of reflecting signals from the bottom side region towards greater depth observed for real post-tensioned concrete bridges can be explained.

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The penetration of shear waves and pressure waves highly depends on geometry and arrangement of strands and the wavelength. With the aid of modern tools it is possible to understand indications of imaging algorithms even in complex environment. Because of the nature of echo signals multiple scattering, mode conversion etc. interpretation of the images should be done with extreme care and with the aid of those tools.

Acknowledgements

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The support of this study by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG; German Research Foundation) is gratefully acknowledged. Railway bridge investigations were funded by the 6th European framework program (Sustainable Bridges (Niederleithinger et al., 2007).

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