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Open AccessArticle

The Contribution of Elastic Wave NDT to the Characterization of Modern Cementitious Media

Department Mechanics of Materials and Constructions, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Magnel-Vandepitte Laboratory for Structural Engineering and Building Materials, Department of Structural Engineering and Building Materials, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University, Tech Lane Ghent Science Park, Technologiepark Zwijnaarde 60, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
Polymer Chemistry & Biomaterials Research Group, Centre of Macromolecular Chemistry, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S4-Bis, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(10), 2959;
Received: 15 April 2020 / Revised: 8 May 2020 / Accepted: 19 May 2020 / Published: 23 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging Sensors and Applications)
To mitigate autogenous shrinkage in cementitious materials and simultaneously preserve the material’s mechanical performance, superabsorbent polymers and nanosilica are included in the mixture design. The use of the specific additives influences both the hydration process and the hardened microstructure, while autogenous healing of cracks can be stimulated. These three stages are monitored by means of non-destructive testing, showing the sensitivity of elastic waves to the occurring phenomena. Whereas the action of the superabsorbent polymers was evidenced by acoustic emission, the use of ultrasound revealed the differences in the developed microstructure and the self-healing of cracks by a comparison with more commonly performed mechanical tests. The ability of NDT to determine these various features renders it a promising measuring method for future characterization of innovative cementitious materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: acoustic emission; ultrasound; hydrogel; nanosilica acoustic emission; ultrasound; hydrogel; nanosilica
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Lefever, G.; Snoeck, D.; De Belie, N.; Van Vlierberghe, S.; Van Hemelrijck, D.; Aggelis, D.G. The Contribution of Elastic Wave NDT to the Characterization of Modern Cementitious Media. Sensors 2020, 20, 2959.

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