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Use of Ground Penetrating Radar

for Building Inspection

Seminar on
Building Diagnostic and
Inspection - Testing &
Certification

Ir Dr Wallace W.L. LAI


Research Fellow, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, HK PolyU
Visiting Scientist, Federal Institute of Materials Res. and Testing (BAM), Berlin, Germany
Contents

1. Introduction
2. MBIS, HOKLAS SC19 and local standard for concrete radar inspection
3. Diagnosis of building structure by GPR (why?)
4. GPR: from military/planetary/archaeological sciences to MBIS
5. Applications and principles
6. Data acquisition, signal processing and imaging
7. An example
8. Use of information derived in GPR analysis from structural, durability
and core sampling perspectives
9. The concept NDE-structural health monitoring (NDE-SHM)
10. Challenges of NDE
11. Conclusion
1. Introduction

B-Scan

Surface
C-Scan

an
B-Sc
2. Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme (MBIS)
Coverage:

Procedural requirements;
Registration as Registered Inspectors (RIs);
Scope and standard of prescribed inspections;
Detailed investigation;
Prescribed repairs in respect of buildings; and
Voluntary compliance

MBIS does not specify what kinds of tests should be done in the inspection

HOKLAS supplementary criteria no. 19 suggests 9 destructive and NDE tests.


2. The Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme
(HOKLAS)
2. Local standard for Concrete radar inspection

Test methods for IR (TM1) and concrete radar (TM2)

Published by Hong Kong Concrete Institute (HKCI)


3. Diagnosis of building structures by GPR (why?)

Visual inspection:
relies on surface defects to predict internal conditions of structures.

Random sampling of cores for destructive tests in lab:


where to core? how many cores? Is the sampling representative?

NDE-CE methods are non-destructive, effective and cover a large area.


It serves as a screening tool before a rational coring scheme is decided
for destructive tests on material properties.

Visual NDE
inspection inspection
3. Diagnosis of building structures by GPR (why?)

Measured parameters related to parameters of interest


(e.g. cover depth, center to center of steel bar, debond in
external wall, etc.)

High data resolutions (e.g. data in every 10mm)

Effective data acquisition

Provide detailed digital and traceable records


4. GPR applications in military/
MBIS
planetary/archaeology science
Air-borne radar

Apollo 17 mission on the South Polar Layered Deposits on Mars


Moon

Archaeology in HK
Destroyer sounding
submarine
5. Applications and principles

Ground Penetrating Radar

1. GPR is a device which emits and


receives high frequency
(10-3000MHz) EM wave
penetrating into materials like
concrete, soil, asphalt, etc.

2. Image reconstruction of the


reflected wave amplitude by
signal processing and imaging
techniques.
5. Ground penetrating radar (GPR): applications

Source: Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc. (GSSI) website


5. Mounting GPR on vehicle or by drag
5. Application classified by GPR frequencies
GPR centre frequency
10 100 500 1000 3000MHz

Planetary science

Snow and ice thickness

Geology, geophysics,
archaeology and forensic

Environmental

Infrastructures
(bridge, highway, tunnel, airport
runway, buried utilites)

Building
5. Frequencies vs sizes

Source: Sensors & Software Inc., Canada


5. GPR Frequencies and resolution
12.5MHz 25MHz 50MHz 100MHz 200MHz

higher frequency => shallower penetration depth => better resolution


lower frequency => larger penetration depth => worser resolution
So penetration depth and resolution are trade-off!

Source: Sensors & Software Inc., Canada


5. GPR Frequencies and resolution

Lower Frequency
Antennas

More Penetration
Lower Resolution
Physically larger in size

Higher Frequency
Antennas

Less Penetration
Higher Resolution
Physically smaller in size

Source: Sensors & Software Inc., Canada


6. Data acquisition

2-dimensional
measurements
on the surface of
elements
B-Scan

Surface
Imaging
C-Scan

c an
B-S
A-scan: 1D stationary collection of GPR waveforms
B-Scan: 2D radargrams in x-z plane (compilation of A-scans)
C-Scan: 2D slice view in x-y plane (signal re-construction in a particular depth z
Cube view: 3D spatial re-construction in x-y-z plane
6. GPR signal processing and imaging

Raw GPR data

Processed GPR data after


signal processing tasks:
1. background removal,
2. velocity estimation
according to HKCI TM2 and
3. migration
7. An example: Mapping of internal structure
of a concrete wall by GPR

Steel bar matrix

Details:
1.Concrete wall with size 1.6m(T)x1.5m(W)x200mm(thk)
2.28-day concrete strength 40MPa
3.Two layers of Y20 steel bars
4.Two embedded plastic pipes
5.Upper 600 mm concrete made by using salted water (Cl-)
6.GSSI 2GHz GPR was used
Plastic pipes
7. Useful GPR parameters in B-scan radargram

(3) (1) x
(4)
A B C D E (2)
z

B-Scan
Information contained in GPR data:
1. Concrete cover depth
2. Thickness of concrete wall Surface
C-Scan
3. Positions and spacing of embedded objects
(steel bars, plastic pipes)
4. Amplitude of the steel bar reflections
B-
n
Sca
7. C-scan slice scan from 0-20cm depth

Plastic pipe

Salt water x 0,0


concrete

B-Scan
Fresh
water Surface
concrete C-
Scan

can
B-S

1st layer
2nd layer
steel bar
steel bar

C-scan made by software GSSI Radan 7


7. Two C-scans at two different depths

First layer of steel bar and plastic pipe at Second layer of steel bar at depth
depth 5+/-5cm 15+/-5cm
7. Three-dimensional cube view
8. Use of information derived in GPR analysis
from STRUCTURAL perspective
Info derived in GPR analysis Possible Use

(1) Object positions (steel bars


c/c distance, plastic pipes, etc)
Compliance check
(2) Thickness of concrete with design
wall/slab
drawings
(3) Concrete cover depth
8. Use of information derived in GPR
analysis from DURABILITY perspective
Info derived in GPR analysis Possible Use

(1) Amplitude at the apex of Interface condition between concrete and


the steel bar hyperbola steel bar (e.g. corrosion)

(2) Concrete cover depth Resistance of carbonation and Cl- ingress

(3) Wave velocity measured by


Moisture distributions up to steel bar layer
hyperbolic reflections from
steel bars
8. Use of information derived in GPR analysis
from CORE SAMPLING perspective
Info derived in GPR analysis Possible Use
(1) Amplitude at the apex of
the steel bar hyperbola
Rational
(2) Inadequate concrete cover
sampling
(3) Wave velocity measured by of cores
hyperbolic reflections from
steel bars
9. The concept NDE-structural health monitoring
(SHM) in MBIS
Yr 100

Yr 40
Yr 30
Refl. to DW TTT
DW amplitude
0.0
0.0

0.2 0.2

0.4 0.4

0.6

re
0.6
0.8
0.8

pa
1.0
1.0
1.2

m
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2
1.2
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2
DW peak freq

Co
0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

1.2
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2

GPR, ultrasonics, IRT and other Material properties by destructive


NDEs tests according to rational coring
10. Two major difficulties of NDE techniques and
interpretation

Object identifications and location mapping are mature. But


sensor types, multi-dimensional signal processing and
variation of material properties make NDE interpretation of
material properties not straight-forward. Signal inversion
(processing) in this context is still a big subject of research.

The properties measured are not directly related to


engineering properties. A example in ultrasonic pulse velocity
(UPV): higher UPV is related to but not always implies high
concrete strength.
11. Conclusion
NDE techniques visualize internal structures, offer measured parameters
related to interested parameters, high data resolution, effective data
acquisition and provide detail digital and traceable records.

In-situ NDE techniques supplement concrete evaluation from structural,


durability and rational sampling perspectives.

Regular NDE measurements on the same structures become a tool of


structural health monitoring.

MBIS and HOKLAS provides a platform for development and application


of NDE techniques in HK.