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Sensors 2016, 16(12), 2083; doi:10.3390/s16122083

Concrete Infill Monitoring in Concrete-Filled FRP Tubes Using a PZT-Based Ultrasonic Time-of-Flight Method

1,†
,
2,3,†
,
1
and
2,3,*
1
Electronics and Information School, Yangtze University, Jingzhou 434023, China
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77004, USA
3
School of Civil Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116023, China
These authors contribute equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 3 November 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5057 KB, uploaded 7 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

Concrete-filled fiber-reinforced polymer tubes (CFFTs) have attracted interest for their structural applications in corrosive environments. However, a weak interfacial strength between the fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) tube and the concrete infill may develop due to concrete shrinkage and inadequate concrete compaction during concrete casting, which will destroy the confinement effect and thereby reduce the load bearing capacity of a CFFT. In this paper, the lead zirconate titanate (PZT)-based ultrasonic time-of-flight (TOF) method was adopted to assess the concrete infill condition of CFFTs. The basic idea of this method is that the velocity of the ultrasonic wave propagation in the FRP material is about half of that in concrete material. Any voids or debonding created along the interface between the FRP tube and the concrete will delay the arrival time between the pairs of PZT transducers. A comparison of the arrival times of the PZT pairs between the intact and the defected CFFT was made to assess the severity of the voids or the debonding. The feasibility of the methodology was analyzed using a finite-difference time-domain-based numerical simulation. Experiments were setup to validate the numerical results, which showed good agreement with the numerical findings. The results showed that the ultrasonic time-of-flight method is able to detect the concrete infill condition of CFFTs. View Full-Text
Keywords: concrete-filled FRP tubes; concrete infill condition; lead zirconate titanate (PZT); ultrasonic time of flight concrete-filled FRP tubes; concrete infill condition; lead zirconate titanate (PZT); ultrasonic time of flight
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Luo, M.; Li, W.; Hei, C.; Song, G. Concrete Infill Monitoring in Concrete-Filled FRP Tubes Using a PZT-Based Ultrasonic Time-of-Flight Method. Sensors 2016, 16, 2083.

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