University of Warwick

Supervisor: Dr Oksana Trushkevych

Concrete is a staple building material, but its functionality and integrity deteriorates with time, requiring structural health monitoring or non-destructive testing to ensure safety of the structure. Concrete is very strong when loaded in compression but fail quickly if it is under tension. The focus of this project will be to develop a technique that would analyse the type of loading (tension or compression) and its magnitude in a concrete structure without prior knowledge of its state (no baseline measurement).  A promising way to achieve this is to use ultrasound. Ultrasound is used extensively in a variety of non-destructive testing and structural health monitoring applications, however it has not been applied to concrete for strain sensing yet.

The idea is to use shear wave birefringence to extract differences in the arrival times of waves with polarization along and perpendicular to the expected direction of stress. Magnetostriction is highly efficient in generating ultrasound and is very promising for generating shear waves in concrete necessary for this study.

This project will develop approaches and techniques for ultrasound health monitoring and non-destructive testing of steel rod and fibre reinforced concrete using magnetostrictive patch transducers. The main objectives would be

  • Determine the most promising wavemodes for sensing strain in concrete and distinguishing tension and compression regimes
  • Develop strain sensing approaches to testing main types of geometry (pillars with different cross-section, blocks, columns)
  • Develop strategies for plug and play inspections  without baseline measurements

You will be involved in practical work as well as modelling, will work in interdisciplinary environment and will have excellent opportunities to engage with industry through Research Centre in Non-Destructive Testing (RCNDE).