Interaction of ultrasonic waves with partially-closed cracks in concrete structures

Lotfollah Pahlavan*, F. Zhang, Gerrit Blacquière, Yuguang Yang, Dick Hordijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Interaction of ultrasonic waves with partially-closed surface-breaking cracks in concrete structures has been studied. Measurements have been conducted on a reinforced concrete beam containing various mechanical-load-induced cracks and compared with the baseline measurements at those locations. Influence of crack width, incident angle of waves with cracks, and distance from the cracks on travel time and amplitude of the waves have been investigated when the beam was unloaded. It has been observed that a measurable part of the waves propagate through the cracks due to the acoustic coupling between the crack faces, although attenuation can be relatively high. The travel time has shown a nearly independent behavior from remaining crack opening in the measured range of 0.05 mm to 3 mm. Measurements in directions orthogonal and parallel to the crack suggest that there is substantial anisotropy in the cracking zone. Furthermore, an effective width of the micro-cracking area around the cracks has been estimated from the measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-906
Number of pages8
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2018


  • Anisotropy
  • Concrete beam
  • Crack
  • Ultrasonic elastic waves


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