Materials and Nanoscience, Nebraska Center for (NCMN)


Date of this Version

February 2004


Published in J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 115 (2), February 2004. © 2004 Acoustical Society of America. Used by permission.


The determination of the depth of surface-breaking cracks in concrete specimens using an ultrasound diffusion technique is discussed. Experiments were carried out on precracked concrete specimens of varying crack depths (0%–40% of the specimen thickness). Contact transducers were placed at the specimen surface with source and receiver separated by the crack. Tone-burst excitations over a frequency range of 400–600 kHz were used. At these frequencies, ultrasound is scattered considerably by the heterogeneities in the concrete. In the limit of many scattering events, the evolution of energy may be modeled as a diffusion process. The arrival of the peak diffuse energy at the receiver is delayed due to the presence of crack. This delay is the prime indicator used for determining crack depth. Numerical and analytical analyses were also used for comparison. These results are in basic agreement with the experiments. In addition, these analyses are used to study the limits of this technique. In particular, it is shown that this technique is applicable to cracks greater than the scattering mean-free path, which is estimated at about 1 cm for these specimens. Aspects of practical implementation are also discussed.