• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 13, No 1 (2022)

Strength of Concrete through Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity and Uniaxial Compressive Strength

Strength of Concrete through Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity and Uniaxial Compressive Strength

Title: Strength of Concrete through Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity and Uniaxial Compressive Strength
Daniel Melo Zárate, Fernando Cárdenas, Edwin Francisco Forero, Ferney Oswaldo Peña

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Cite this article as:
Zárate, D.M., Cárdenas, F.Forero, E.F., Peña, F.O., 2022. Strength of Concrete through Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity and Uniaxial Compressive Strength. International Journal of Technology. Volume 13(1), pp. 103-114

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Daniel Melo Zárate Faculty of Civil Engineering, University Santo Tomás, 9th avenue No. 51-11, 110231, Bogotá, Colombia
Fernando Cárdenas Faculty of Electric Engineering, University Santo Tomás, 9th avenue No. 51-11, 110231, Bogotá, Colombia
Edwin Francisco Forero Faculty of Electric Engineering, University Santo Tomás, 9th avenue No. 51-11, 110231, Bogotá, Colombia
Ferney Oswaldo Peña Faculty of Civil Engineering, University Santo Tomás, 9th avenue No. 51-11, 110231, Bogotá, Colombia
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Abstract
Strength of Concrete through Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity and Uniaxial Compressive Strength










The noninvasive technique of ultrasonic pulse rate (UPV) is increasingly used in the evaluation of the quality of concrete, providing information about the integrity of structures and preventing possible disasters. Therefore, for its direct application, it is necessary to have a prior correlation between the noninvasive UPV technique and the invasive uniaxial compression resistance (UCS) assay. While correlations have been determined by various authors, each has been given specific conditions and guidelines by the authors because there is no standardized way to perform the correlations. Rather, there are only experimental tests that have generated experimental correlations—both linear and logarithmic—with different graphic shapes. Therefore, this research aims, first, to validate the aforementioned relationship, which allows the compressure resistance of concrete (f'c) to be determined for a given design of concrete mixtures following the American Concrete Institute (ACI. 211.1.). Second, it aims to determine the most accurate trend and the possibly correct form of the correlation plot between the UPV and UCS. In the first instance, 15 plain concrete specimens were designed with an f’c of 28 MPa, whose dosage was carried out following the method of ACI. 211.1. Then, UPV and UCS tests were performed according to regulations in the first 28 days of curing the specimens. Finally, a logarithmic correlation was obtained between the UPV values and the values of the invasive tests for the UCS of concrete. A graphical analysis with some existing correlations of other investigations was then performed, and a similarity in the logarithmic tendency, with a coefficient of determination greater than that of the linear trend, was observed.

Concrete structures; Design concrete mixes; Uniaxial compressive strength (UCS); Ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV); Ultrasound

Introduction

        Knowing the integrity of concrete structures is important when considering the avoidance or prevention of disasters that may cause loss of life, time, and economic resources. This, added to the exponential growth of the construction sector due to ease of production and the wide use of concrete (Han et al., 2016), has led to a need for structural analysis and monitoring of the mechanical properties of this material, especially the compressive strength of concrete (f'c) —its main property (Sánchez, 2001). This property can be determined using noninvasive and invasive tests, with the noninvasive ones used as complementary tests for concrete (ACI, 2013)

Among the invasive scanning techniques used to determine the compressive strength of concrete, the most commonly used for the quality evaluation of plain concrete specimens is the uniaxial compressive strength test (Hincapié and Vidal, 2003). This assay has limitations in diagnosing and monitoring the condition of concrete at any age of the structure. Because cylinders are used for the test, the above are made from a concrete mixture with which the structural elements are melted (ASTM, 2019; ICONTEC, 2020). However, although there is a method for extracting the nuclei, which allows a fairly precise determination in real time of the resistance of the element from which they have been extracted, it presents the disadvantage of the necessary repair of the same element (Hincapié and Vidal, 2003; Orozco et al., 2020).

A variety of noninvasive tests can be found in the literature, including ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV), ultrasonic echo, impact echo, sonic echo, and cross hole sonic logging (ACI, 2013). The UPV method is characterized by its application to evaluate the quality of concrete (Ramadhansyah et al., 2011; ACI, 2013; ASTM, 2016). The noninvasive scanning technique of UPV measurement consists of determining the velocity of an ultrasonic wave that travels through the concrete, estimating the compressive strength of the concrete using correlations (ASTM, 2016; Orozco et al., 2020) without altering the physical or chemical properties of the concrete (Suárez, 2004; Benítez-Herreros, 2011; Salles et al., 2017; Pedreros et al., 2020). These types of waves are acoustic pressure waves with frequencies higher than those of the auditory spectrum of the human ear (Edwin, 2005; Martinez et al., 2007). The UPV technique involves the following two fundamental parts: the generation of ultrasonic waves and the corresponding reception of those waves (Rodriguez et al., 2009; Sharma et al., 2017; Hidayat et al., 2018).

In this sense, previous studies have determined correlations between the noninvasive measurement of UPV and the magnitude of the uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) in plain concrete specimens (Trtnik and Gams, 2015; Sabba? and Uyan?k, 2017). Some have used specific conditions, including Wolfs et al. (2018), with 3D printed concrete for early ages; Hong et al. (2020), with three different concrete mixture designs and nine parameters for 123 plain concrete specimens; Orozco et al. (2020), with a design of concrete mixtures for aggregates and cements from high temperatures, such as the Caribbean region of Colombia; Pedreros et al. (2020), with three conventional mixture designs for six plain concrete specimens; and Troncoso (2012), with concretes made of arid limestone in Ecuador.

However, the studies present variability in the correlation trend as they depend on individual authors, which generates confusion regarding what the most accurate trend and correct form of the graph for this correlation should be. Moreover, ICONTEC (1997) NTC 4325, as a standard method for the application of UPV in Colombia, and ASTM (2016) C597-16 worldwide do not recommend a particular form for the trend and the graph for the correlation between the UPV and UCS.

This article aims, first, to validate the aforementioned relationship that allows the f’c to be determined using the measurement of UPV based on the correlation of UPV and UCS for a given design of concrete mixtures of A.C.I. 211.1. Second, it aims to determine the most correct trend and the possibly correct form of the graph for the correlation between UPV and UCS, increasing the reliability in the application of the noninvasive UPV test and allowing the f'c to be found directly in buildings’ structural elements.


Conclusion

 The results shown in Figures 7b and 8 indicate that during the 28 days of the concrete curing, the UPV and the compressive strength of the concrete increase as the days pass. Therefore, this study proposes a correlation with a logarithmic trend that can be used to approximate the relationship between the UPV and the compressive strength of concrete, which would be useful to implement in devices used to measure the UPV in concrete.

For future research, it is recommended that a correlation be performed involving the application of the noninvasive and invasive tests in the first 24 hours (red section of Figure 9b) and in the interval after 28 days of curing of the concrete specimens (green section of Figure 9b), with the objective of obtaining a more complete picture in those intervals of the graph.

Considering the comparison of Figures 9 and 10, it is suggested that the appropriate form of the correlation graph between the noninvasive UPV test and the invasive UCS test is a logarithmic trend. However, future researchers should consider comparing the correlations in the missing intervals shown in the green and red sections of Figure 9b.

The results obtained in this research demonstrate that the noninvasive UPV test can be established as a reliable way in the in situ estimation of the quality of concrete, thus allowing the f'c of concrete to be determined directly in the structural elements of buildings and avoiding the application of invasive tests that alter the physical or chemical properties of concrete.

Acknowledgement

This research was supported by the SIMSE and University Santo Tomás, to whom we are deeply grateful.

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