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11 April 2013 Early corrosion monitoring of prestressed concrete piles using acoustic emission
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The depassivation and corrosion of bonded prestressing steel strands in concrete bridge members may lead to major damage or collapse before visual inspections uncover evident signs of damage, and well before the end of the design life. Recognizing corrosion in its early stage is desirable to plan and prioritize remediation strategies. The Acoustic Emission (AE) technique is a rational means to develop structural health monitoring and prognosis systems for the early detection and location of corrosion in concrete. Compelling features are the sensitivity to events related to micro- and macrodamage, non-intrusiveness, and suitability for remote and wireless applications. There is little understanding of the correlation between AE and the morphology and extent of early damage on the steel surface. In this paper, the evidence collected from prestressed concrete (PC) specimens that are exposed to salt water is discussed vis-à-vis AE data from continuous monitoring. The specimens consist of PC strips that are subjected to wet/dry salt water cycles, representing portions of bridge piles that are exposed to tidal action. Evidence collected from the specimens includes: (a) values of half-cell potential and linear polarization resistance to recognize active corrosion in its early stage; and (b) scanning electron microscopy micrographs of steel areas from two specimens that were decommissioned once the electrochemical measurements indicated a high probability of active corrosion. These results are used to evaluate the AE activity resulting from early corrosion.
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William Vélez, Fabio Matta, and Paul H. Ziehl "Early corrosion monitoring of prestressed concrete piles using acoustic emission", Proc. SPIE 8694, Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security 2013, 869407 (11 April 2013);

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