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Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation

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Structural engineering -- Earthquake damage, Reinforced Concrete bridge column, Ultrasonic echo array, Ground-penetrating radar, SAFT-based imaging


Fusion-based imaging using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and ultrasonic echo array (UEA) was employed to track damage progression in the columns of two full-scale reinforced concrete (RC) bridge column-footing subassembly laboratory specimens. The specimens had different lap-splice detailing and were subjected to reverse-cyclic lateral loading simulating a subduction zone earthquake. GPR and UEA scans were performed on the east and west faces of the columns at select ductility levels. Reconstructed images were obtained using the extended total focusing method (XTFM) and fused using a wavelet-based technique. Composite images of each column's interior were created by merging the images from both sides. A quantitative analysis based on the structural similarity (SSIM) index accurately captured damage progression. A backwall analysis using the amplitude of the backwall reflector was also performed. Changes as early as in the first measurement (μ = 0.5 displacement ductility level) could be detected. Damage variation along the column height was observed, consistent with greater damage at the base. The proposed analyses distinguished the structural behavior differences between the two specimens. In summary, the SSIM metric provides a valuable tool for detecting changes, while the backwall analysis offers simple yet informative insights into damage progression and distribution in full-scale RC members.


© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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