Acoustic emission techniques applied to conventionally reinforced concrete bridge girders.
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Acoustic emission techniques applied to conventionally reinforced concrete bridge girders.

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      Final report.
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      Reinforced concrete (RC) bridges generally operate at service-level loads except during discrete overload events that can reduce the integrity of the structure by initiating concrete cracks, widening or extending of existing concrete cracks, as well as reinforcing steel slip or yielding. Identification of previous damage and predicting the possible impact on future performance has increasingly become of interest to load rating engineers. The ultimate goal of this project was to determine if the Acoustic Emission (AE) Technique can assist in: • Assessing and identifying previous damage • Monitoring existing bridges for real-time detection of occurring damage • Predicting critical conditions or failure of bridge members. The term damage in this context shall be defined as a change in the current state or condition of a structural element that reduces its capacity. Damage is not a well-defined term for reinforced concrete since cracking alone does not necessarily reduce the capacity of a member. However, crack formation and crack width growth are of importance since they may expose steel reinforcement to the environment which can lead to rebar corrosion, etc. In the present study, the term deterioration is therefore used rather than damage. Four conventionally reinforced concrete (CRC) girders were designed to fail in shear-compression mode and constructed with different reinforcement details to investigate the AE response due to increasing loads up to capacity, cyclic loading representing ambient service-level trucks, and simulated test trucks also at the service level.
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