Term of Award

Fall 2023

Degree Name

Master of Science, Civil Engineering

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Civil Engineering and Construction

Committee Chair

Saman Hedjazi

Committee Member 1

Hossein Taheri

Committee Member 2

Gustavo Maldonado


This study analyzes the application and practicality of different non-destructive testing (NDT) methods for the inspection of reinforced concrete. There are two studies discussed in this paper. The first one is a laboratory investigation, utilizing ground penetrating radar (GPR) on concrete slabs that consisted of simulated defects to mimic those found in real concrete structures. This served as a preliminary experiment to verify the GPR data with the design of the slabs. The following study describes a field investigation on an old bridge deck, which involved multiple testing methods. The techniques used were GPR, impact echo (IE), ultrasonic pulse echo (UPE), a cover meter, and a rebound hammer. The primary method implemented was GPR for locating the embedded reinforcement steel and suspected areas of concrete deterioration caused by rebar corrosion. Core specimens were extracted for visual inspections to compare with the GPR data. Additionally, compressive tests were completed to obtain the compressive strength of the bridge deck. This data was compared to results from the rebound hammer, which provided an estimate on the in-situ compressive strength of concrete. The cover meter provided data on the rebar depth and spacing. Lastly, the IE and UPE instruments were utilized to determine the thickness of the bridge deck slab. Through data analyses, the results were compared primarily with the GPR and actual core data, in which most of the data was validated through an acceptable percentage accuracy and mean absolute error. This study displays the limitations when using NDT methods in a practical situation as opposed to laboratory settings. The uncertainty of what objects and flaws are embedded beneath an element poses some challenges; therefore, having the appropriate knowledge and background on NDT methods is necessary for structural evaluations. However, there is a promising future for NDT in civil engineering and construction project applications.

Research Data and Supplementary Material