Applications of Nondestructive Testing in Civil Engineering
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Presented in this thesis are two studies that apply nondestructive testing methods to civil engineering problems. The first study examines the relationship between the small-strain and large-strain properties of exhumed cast iron water pipes. Nondestructive and destructive testing programs were performed on eight pipes varying in age from 40 to 130 years. New applications of frequency domain analysis techniques including Fourier and wavelet transforms of ultrasonic pulse velocity measurements are presented. The effects of Lamb wave propagation on the ultrasonic testing results are investigated. Microstructure evaluation revealed two different types of cast iron within the pipes sampled: grey cast iron and ductile iron. A low correlation between wave propagation and large-strain measurements was observed. However, the wave velocities were consistently different between ductile and grey cast iron pipes (14% to 18% difference). Lamb waves were found to contribute significantly to the frequency content of the ultrasonic signals possibly resulting in the poor correlations observed. Therefore, correlations between wave velocities and large strain properties obtained using samples from exhumed water pipes must be used with caution in the condition assessment of aged water pipes especially for grey cast iron pipes. The second study presented in this thesis was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of three geophysical methods for geotechnical site characterization in swamps and environmentally sensitive wetland areas. The geophysical methods evaluated were electrical resistivity imaging (ERI), seismic refraction (SR), and multiple-channel analysis of surface waves (MASW). The geophysical test results were verified against the results from borehole and CPT logs. The ERI results were best for determining the depth to the glacial till. The SR results overestimated the depth to the till because of the presence of a stiffness reversal. The MASW results predicted the depth to the refusal till layer less accurately than the ERI method. However, this method was able to detect the three distinct layers above the till. These methods can be used as a basis for further development to optimize a procedure to reduce the number of boreholes required for conventional site investigations in areas that are environmentally sensitive or where access is restricted.