Corrosion is a significant damage in many reinforced concrete structures, mainly in coastal areas. The oxidation of embedded iron or steel elements degrades rebar, producing a porous layer not adhered to the metallic surface. This process could completely destroy rebar. In addition, the concrete around the metallic targets is also damaged, and a dense grid of fissures appears around the oxidized elements. The evaluation of corrosion is difficult in early stages, because damage is usually hidden. Non-destructive testing measurements, based on non-destructive testing (NDT) electric and magnetic surveys, could detect damage as consequence of corrosion. The work presented in this paper is based in several laboratory tests, which are centered in defining the effect of different corrosion stage on ground penetrating radar (GPR) signals. The analysis focuses on the evaluation of the reflected wave amplitude and its behavior. The results indicated that an accurate analysis of amplitude decay and intensity could most likely reveal an approach to the state of degradation of the embedded metallic targets because GPR images exhibit characteristics that depend on the effects of the oxidized rebar and the damaged concrete. These characteristics could be detected and measured in some cases. One important feature is referred to as the reflected wave amplitude. In the case of corroded targets, this amplitude is lower than in the case of reflection on non-oxidized surfaces. Additionally, in some cases, a blurred image appears related to high corrosion. The results of the tests highlight the higher amplitude decay of the cases of specimens with corroded elements.
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