The National Academies

SHRP 2 R06(A) [Completed]

Nondestructive Testing to Identify Concrete Bridge Deck Deterioration

  Project Data
Funds: $980,000
Research Agency: Rutgers University
Principal Investigator: Nenad Gucunski
Effective Date: 3/13/2009
Completion Date: 12/31/2014

Project snapshot. More details below.

(Project Number)
Impact on Practice
Product Status

The NDToolbox is an online collection of techniques and technologies for identifying deterioration on concrete bridge decks, quality control of construction materials and pavements, and condition assessment of pavements and tunnels.
The NDToolbox includes technologies that were independently evaluated so owner agencies can be confident in their choice of technology and method. It also includes the technologies that were the focus of research in projects R06B-G. The NDToolbox supports faster and more effective condition assessments that help reduce traffic delays and safety risks from lane closures.
Project R06 considered NDT needs for rapid renewal and generated 7 related projects (R06A-G). The NDToolbox includes all 7 NDT products and is available at https://www.ndtoolbox.org/. The parent report and the research report for R06A are at https://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/167278.aspx. Videos of the SHRP2 field validation of NDT technologies are at

Providing the means for the rapid, nondestructive, and accurate condition assessment and performance monitoring of bridge decks can significantly reduce the necessary resources and expenditures for bridge renewal. In addition to reducing the duration of traffic interruption during field operation, more dense measurements yield a more accurate characterization of the bridge deck condition, a better prediction of the deterioration progression, and a better assessment of the rehabilitation needs.

This project had five objectives: 1) identify and characterize rapid nondestructive testing (NDT) technologies for concrete deck deterioration; 2) evaluate the strengths and limitations of applicable NDT technologies from the perspective of speed, accuracy, precision, and ease of use; 3) validate the promising technologies; 4) recommend test procedures and protocols for the most effective application of the bridge deck NDT methods evaluated; and 5) develop a repository for practitioners.

The project consisted of two phases. In the first phase, a thorough literature search was performed to identify common forms of deterioration in concrete bridge decks, as well as the NDT technologies that can effectively detect and characterize them. The following four defects were identified as those of the highest importance: rebar corrosion, delamination, vertical cracking, and concrete degradation. In addition, a framework for technology grading and ranking was developed, based on five performance measures: accuracy, repeatability, speed, ease of use, and cost. The focus of the second phase was on the validation of promising technologies in both laboratory and actual production-level conditions with respect to the five performance measures. The validated technologies were consequently graded and ranked. The ultimate product of this project is an electronic resource for practitioners, known as the NDToolbox. The NDToolbox provides information regarding recommended technologies for the detection of a particular deterioration type. It also provides information about particular technologies, including their description, physical principles of operation, applications, advantages and limitations, equipment, recommended protocols for data collection and analysis, and typical data presentation.

Renewal Project R06A is one of seven follow-on projects to SHRP Renewal Project R06: A Plan for Developing High-Speed, Nondestructive Testing Procedures for Both Design Evaluation and Construction Inspection.

Status: This project is completed.

Product Availability: The final report is available electronically and in hardcopy through the bookstore. The NDToolbox is available at https://www.ndtoolbox.org/.

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