You are on page 1of 13


discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at:

CRC Handbook on Nondestructive Testing of


Article January 2004


381 1,590

2 authors, including:

Nicholas J. Carino


All content following this page was uploaded by Nicholas J. Carino on 26 June 2015.

The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file. All in-text references underlined in blue are added to the original document
and are linked to publications on ResearchGate, letting you access and read them immediately.

Edited by

Boca Raton London New York Washington, D.C.













ASTM International is pleased to join CRC Press to co-publish Handbook on Nondestructive Testing of
Concrete, Second Edition. ASTM distributes many publications including standards, adjuncts, journals,
special technical publications, manuals, data series, monographs, and reference radiographs. ASTM is
proud to include this book in its publications series.
ASTM International has 130 technical committees including Committee C09 on Concrete and Con-
crete Aggregates. This committee was formed in 1914 and currently has over 700 members. The
committee has jurisdiction of 152 standards. It meets in June and December.
ASTM Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates scope is (1) the assembling and study
of data pertaining to the properties of hydraulic-cement concrete and its constituent materials, including
the study of the effect of characteristics of materials and mixtures on the properties of concrete; and (2)
the development of standards for concrete and for the constituent materials of concrete (except cement),
as well as for certain related materials, such as materials used in curing.
The scope of the Committee does not include the eld of design and construction of concrete structures
except insofar as references need to be made to construction methods in special case of concrete as over-
the-counter material.
For additional information on ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA
19428, visit, e-mail:, phone: +1.610.832-9500.


In the inspection of metals, nondestructive testing is an accepted practice. For example, radiographic
and ultrasonic techniques are routinely used to identify anomalies in steel pipelines, and there are
recognized national and international standards on their use. In the inspection of concrete, however, the
use of nondestructive testing is relatively new. The slow development of nondestructive testing techniques
for concrete is because, unlike steel, concrete is a highly nonhomogeneous composite material with
varying composition and different raw materials. Apart from precast concrete units that, like steel
products, are fabricated at a plant, most concrete is produced in relatively small ready-mixed concrete
plants and delivered to the construction site. The placing, consolidation, and curing of concrete takes
place in the eld using labor that is relatively unskilled. The resulting product is, by its very nature and
construction method, highly variable and does not lend itself to testing by traditional nondestructive
methods as easily as steel products.
Despite the above drawbacks, there has been progress in the development of nondestructive methods
for testing concrete, and several methods have been standardized by the American Society for Testing
and Materials (ASTM), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the International Standards Organi-
zation (ISO), the British Standards Institute (BSI), and others. The direct determination of mechanical
and other properties requires that concrete specimens taken from the structure be tested destructively;
therefore, nondestructive methods cannot yield absolute values of these properties. Methods have been
developed to measure other properties of concrete from which estimates of mechanical properties or
other characteristics related to performance can be inferred.
Broadly speaking, there are two classes of nondestructive test methods for concrete. The rst class
consists of those methods that are used to estimate strength. The surface hardness, penetration resistance,
pullout, break-off, pull-off, and maturity techniques belong to this category. Some of these methods are
not truly nondestructive because they cause some surface damage, which is, however, minor compared
with that produced by drilling a core. The second class includes those methods that measure other
characteristics of concrete such as moisture content, density, thickness, resistivity, and permeability. Also
included in the second class are such methods as stress wave propagation, ground probing radar, and
infrared thermography techniques, which are used to locate delaminations, voids, and cracks in concrete.
In addition, there are methods to provide information on steel reinforcement such as bar location, bar
size, and whether the bars are corroding.
This second edition provides comprehensive treatment of nondestructive test methods that are used
to evaluate concrete structures. The opening chapter deals with surface hardness test methods, followed
by chapters on penetration resistance, pullout, break-off, maturity, pull-off, permeation, resonant fre-
quency, and pulse velocity techniques. These chapters are followed by a chapter on the combined methods,
in which more than one technique are used to estimate strength of concrete. The remaining chapters
deal with magnetic, electrical, radioactive, nuclear, radar, stress wave propagation, infrared thermography,
and acoustic emission techniques.

This handbook is written primarily for practicing engineers engaged in quality control or investigations
of hardened concrete. The chapter authors are recognized specialists in the subject areas, and are, or have
been, active participants in technical committees on nondestructive testing of concrete. Each chapter
discusses the basic principles of the methods and provides practical information for their use. In-depth
mathematical treatment and derivations have been kept to a minimum. Those interested in more detailed
information about the development of these methods are referred to the original papers cited at the end
of each chapter.
Some of the test methods described in this handbook are based on fairly simple principles and are
easy to carry out, whereas others are based on complex principles and require sophisticated equipment
and trained personnel to perform the tests. Regardless of which test is used, it is strongly recommended
that interpretation of test results be performed by persons who are thoroughly familiar with the principles
and limitations of the method. Interpretation should not be delegated to unqualied eld technicians.
It is hoped that this second edition of the handbook will meet the growing needs of practicing engineers
and technologists in the area of nondestructive testing of concrete. Graduate students in concrete tech-
nology should also nd this handbook useful as a comprehensive state-of-the-art document, and as a
source of reference material on the subject.
V. Mohan Malhotra
Nicholas J. Carino

The Editors

V. Mohan Malhotra, P.Eng., DDL (Hon), D.Eng. (Hon), internationally known researcher, author, and
speaker, is Scientist Emeritus, CANMET, Department of Natural Resources, Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Mal-
hotra received his B.Sc. degree in 1951 from Delhi University, India and his B.E. (Civil) in 1957 from
the University of Western Australia, Perth. In 1984, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of
Laws (DDL) by the University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, and in 1999 he was awarded the honorary
degree of Doctor of Engineering by the University de Nuevo Leon, Monterrey, Mexico.
Dr. Malhotra has been actively engaged in research in all aspects of concrete technology, including
nondestructive testing, for the past 35 years. From 1975 to 1990 he was Chair of ASTM subcommittee
C09 02.05 on Nondestructive Testing of Concrete. Dr. Malhotra is an Honorary Member and a Charter
Fellow of the American Concrete Institute, Fellow of the American Society for Testing and Materials
(ASTM), a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, a Fellow of the Engineering Institute
of Canada, an Honorary Member of the Concrete Society, U.K., and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute
of Concrete Technology, U.K. He has received numerous awards and honors from the American Concrete
Institute (ACI) and ASTM.
Dr. Malhotra is on the editorial board of several international journals on concrete technology. He
has published more than 150 technical papers on concrete technology including nondestructive testing.
He is the author or co-author of several books, including Condensed Silica Fume, published by CRC Press
in 1988. He has edited numerous special publications for the American Concrete Institute and CANMET.
His book, High Performance, High Volume, Fly Ash Concrete, was published in 2002. Dr. Malhotra has
organized and chaired numerous international conferences on concrete technology throughout the world.
In 1984, he organized and chaired the CANMET/ACI International Conference on In-situ/Non-destruc-
tive Testing of Concrete in Ottawa, Canada.

Nicholas J. Carino, Ph.D., is a research structural engineer in the Materials and Construction Research
Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (formerly National Bureau of Standards)
in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Dr. Carino received his undergraduate and graduate education at Cornell
University (B.S., 1969; M.S., 1971; and Ph.D., 1974). Upon receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Carino accepted a
teaching position at The University of Texas at Austin, where he received several awards for teaching
In 1979, Dr. Carino accepted a research position at the National Bureau of Standards. His research
has dealt with methods for in-place testing of concrete for strength, with nondestructive methods for
aw detection in concrete, and with testing high-strength concrete. His work on the maturity method
gained national and international recognition for which he received a U.S. Department of Commerce
Bronze Medal in 1983. In 1996 he was co-recipient of the ACI Wason Medal for Materials Research for
a paper dealing with the effects of cementitious materials on maturity functions. He was co-developer

with Dr. Mary Sansalone of the impact-echo method, and in 1996 they received the ACI Wason Medal
for their paper describing the application of the impact-echo method for delamination detection.
In addition to research, Dr. Carino has been involved in structural investigations. In 1987, he was
project leader in the structural assessment of the new ofce building of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. He
participated in the investigation of the 1981 condominium collapse in Cocoa Beach, Florida; the 1982
highway ramp failure in East Chicago, Indiana; and conducted damage assessments after the 1989 Loma
Prieta earthquake and the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
Dr. Carino is a Fellow of the ACI, a Fellow of the ASTM, and a member of the American Society of
Civil Engineers. He serves as Chair of ASTM Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates. He
has held numerous other technical committee leadership positions including Chair of the ACI Committee
on Nondestructive Testing for Concrete and the ASTM Subcommittee on Nondestructive and In-Place
Testing. He also served on the ACI Board of Direction and the ACI Technical Activities Committee.


P.A. Muhammed Basheer Kenneth R. Lauer Tarun R. Naik

Professor and Chair of Structural Professor Emeritus Director, Center for By-Products
Materials Department of Civil Engineering Utilization
School of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences Professor, Civil Engineering
The Queens University of Belfast University of Notre Dame College of Engineering and Applied
Northern Ireland Notre Dame, Indiana Science
United Kingdom The University of Wisconsin< <
Adrian E. Long Milwaukee
Georges G. Carette1 Professor Milwaukee, Wisconsin
CANMET School of Civil Engineering
Department of Natural Resources The Queens University of Belfast John S. Popovics
Canada Northern Ireland Assistant Professor
Ottawa, Ontario United Kingdom Department of Civil and
Canada Environmental Engineering
V. Mohan Malhotra University of Illinois at
Nicholas J. Carino Scientist Emeritus Urbana-Champaign
Research Structural Engineer CANMET Urbana, Illinois
Building and Fire Research Department of Natural Resources
Laboratory Canada Aleksander Samarin
National Institute of Standards Ottawa, Ontario Consultant
and Technology Canada Rhodes, New South Wales
Gaithersburg, Maryland Australia
Sidney Mindess
Gerardo G. Clemea Professor, Civil Engineering Vasanthy Sivasundaram
Principal Research Scientist University of British Columbia Research Engineer
Virginia Transportation Research Vancouver, British Columbia CANMET
Council Canada Department of Natural Resources
Charlottesville, Virginia Canada
Terry M. Mitchell Ottawa, Ontario
Graeme D. Henderson Materials Research Engineer Canada
Dr. Doran and Partners Turner-Fairbank Highway Research
Belfast Center Gary J. Weil
Northern Ireland Federal Highway Administration President
United Kingdom U.S. Department of Transportation EnTech Engineering, Inc.
McLean, Virginia St. Louis, Missouri
1 Deceased


1 Surface Hardness Methods V. Mohan Malhotra

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Indentation Methods
1.3 Rebound Method
1.4 Limitations
1.5 Rebound Number and Estimation of Compressive Strength
1.6 Rebound Number and Flexural Strength
1.7 Rebound Number and Modulus of Elasticity
1.8 North American Survey on the Use of the Rebound Hammer
1.9 Standardization of Surface Hardness Methods
1.10 Limitations and Usefulness

2 Penetration Resistance Methods V. Mohan Malhotra, Georges G. Carette

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Probe Penetration Test System
2.3 Evaluation of the Probe Penetration Test
2.4 Pin Penetration Test
2.5 Standardization of Penetration Resistance Techniques
2.6 Limitations and Usefulness of Penetration Resistance Methods

3 Pullout Test Nicholas J. Carino

3.1 Introduction
3.2 Historical Background
3.3 Failure Mechanism
3.4 Statistical Characteristics
3.5 Applications
3.6 Concluding Remarks

4 The Break-Off Test Method Tarun R. Naik

4.1 Introduction
4.2 Theoretical Considerations
4.3 BO Test Equipment
4.4 Historical Background
4.5 Test Procedure
4.6 Evaluation of Test Specimens
4.7 Applications

4.8 Advantages and Limitations
4.9 Standardization of the B.O. Method

5 The Maturity Method Nicholas J. Carino

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Historical Background
5.3 Theoretical Basis
5.4 Application of Maturity Method
5.5 Standard Practice
5.6 Conclusion

6 Pull-Off Test and Permeation Tests Graeme D. Henderson, P.A. Muhammed Basheer,
Adrian E. Long
6.1 Introduction
6.2 In Situ Strength Assessment
6.3 Measuring Concrete Permeation Properties
6.4 Description of Test Methods
6.5 Concluding Remarks

7 Resonant Frequency Methods V. Mohan Malhotra, Vasanthy Sivasundaram

7.1 Introduction
7.2 Resonant Frequency Method
7.3 Other Methods of Resonant Frequent Testing
7.4 Factors Affecting Resonant Frequency and Dynamic Modulus of Elasticity
7.5 Resonant Frequency and Durability of Concrete
7.6 Reproducibility of Test Results
7.7 Correlation between Dynamic Modulus of Elasticity and Strength
Properties of Concrete
7.8 Comparison of Moduli of Elasticity Determined from Longitudinal and
Transverse Frequencies
7.9 Comparison of Dynamic and Static Moduli of Elasticity
7.10 Specialized Applications of Resonance Tests
7.11 Damping Properties of Concrete
7.12 Standardization of Resonant Frequency Methods
7.13 Limitations and Usefulness of Resonant Frequency Methods

8 The Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Method Tarun R. Naik, V. Mohan Malhotra,

John S. Popovics
8.1 Historical Background
8.2 Theory of Wave Propagation
8.3 Pulse Velocity Test Instrument
8.4 The Pulse Velocity Method
8.5 Factors Affecting Pulse Velocity
8.6 Standardization of the Pulse Velocity Method
8.7 Applications
8.8 Advantages and Limitations

9 Combined Methods Aleksander Samarin
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Historical Development
9.3 Combined Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity and Hardness Measurement Techniques
9.4 Conclusions

10 Magnetic/Electrical Methods Kenneth R. Lauer

10.1 Introduction
10.2 Magnetic Methods
10.3 Electrical Methods

11 Methods to Evaluate Corrosion of Reinforcement Nicholas J. Carino

11.1 Introduction
11.2 Principles of Corrosion
11.3 Corrosion of Steel in Concrete
11.4 Half-Cell Potential Method
11.5 Concrete Resistivity
11.6 Polarization Resistance
11.7 Summary

12 Radioactive/Nuclear Methods Terry M. Mitchell

12.1 Introduction
12.2 General Principles
12.3 Radiometry
12.4 Radiography
12.5 Neutron-Gamma Techniques

13 Short-Pulse Radar Methods Gerardo G. Clemea

13.1 Introduction
13.2 Principle of Short-Pulse Radar
13.3 Instrumentation
13.4 Applications
13.5 Standardization of Short-Pulse Radar Methods
13.6 Conclusions

14 Stress Wave Propagation Methods Nicholas J. Carino

14.1 Introduction
14.2 Basic Principles
14.3 Test Methods
14.4 Summary

15 Infrared Thermographic Techniques Gary J. Weil

15.1 Introduction
15.2 Historical Background
15.3 Theoretical Considerations

15.4 Testing Equipment
15.5 Testing Procedures
15.6 Case Histories
15.7 Advantages and Limitations
15.8 Summary

16 Acoustic Emission Methods Sidney Mindess

16.1 Introduction
16.2 Historical Background
16.3 Theoretical Considerations
16.4 Evaluation of Acoustic Emission Signals
16.5 Instrumentation and Test Procedures
16.6 Parameters Affecting Acoustic Emissions from Concrete
16.7 Laboratory Studies of Acoustic Emission
16.8 Field Studies of Acoustic Emission
16.9 Conclusions


View publication stats