Steel rebars is a vital component in reinforced concrete (RC) and prestressed concrete structures since they provide mechanical functions to those structures. Damages occurred to steel rebars can lead to the premature failure of concrete structures. Characterization of steel rebars using nondestructive evaluation (NDE) offers engineers and decision makers important information for effective/good repair of aging concrete structures. Among existing NDE techniques, microwave/radar NDE has been proven to be a promising technique for surface and subsurface sensing of concrete structures. The objective of this paper is to use microwave/radar NDE to characterize steel rebar grids in free space, as a basis for the subsurface sensing of steel rebars inside RC structures. A portable 10-GHz radar system based on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging was used in this paper. Effect of rebar grid spacing was considered and used to define subsurface steel rebar grids. Five rebar grid spacings were used; 12.7 cm (5 in.), 17.78 cm (7 in.), 22.86 cm (9 in.), 27.94 cm (11 in.), and 33.02 cm (13 in.) # 3 rebars were used in all grid specimens. All SAR images were collected inside an anechoic chamber. It was found that SAR images can successfully capture the change of rebar grid spacing and used for quantifying the spacing of rebar grids. Empirical models were proposed to estimate actual rebar spacing and contour area using SAR images.
Jie Hu, Qixiang Tang, Jones Owusu Twumasi, and Tzuyang Yu, "Characterization of steel rebar spacing using synthetic aperture radar imaging ," Proc. SPIE 10599, Nondestructive Characterization and Monitoring of Advanced Materials, Aerospace, Civil Infrastructure, and Transportation XII, 1059915 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 07, 2018; Published: 27 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2295627.
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