Non-Destructive Bridge Deck Condition Assessment with a Probability-Based Deterioration Threshold
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Deterioration of bridge decks is an ongoing problem faced by transportation agencies across the country. In past decades, Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) techniques, capable of detecting various deteriorations types, e.g., cracking, delamination and reinforcing steel corrosion, have emerged. These techniques generate large amounts of data representing different underlying physics, (decibels for ground penetrating radar and volts for half-cell potential), making data interpretation and comparison difficult for bridge owners and practitioners. The deterioration threshold, or the transition between healthy and deteriorated areas, is essential in understanding NDE data. However, this threshold is determined empirically in former research and engineering practice. In the present research, a probability-based method is proposed to identify deterioration thresholds for specified confidence levels. NDE data measuring different underlying physics are transformed into a binary format by threshold values to compare and combine multiple NDE techniques for bridge deck assessment. The finite element method is also implemented to correlate bridge deck surface stresses with deteriorations measured by NDE techniques, and to study the causes on concrete bridge deck degradation. The general methodology developed in this study will be demonstrated on three bridges, i.e., Virginia, New Jersey and New York Pilot Bridges, which were studied under Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)'s Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program.
- Doctoral Dissertations