Abstract

Corrosion of carbon steel rebar in concrete structures, such as highway bridges and buildings, has a direct impact on their structural integrity, since the rebar provides the tensile strength within the structure. Rebar strength depends on the remaining effective radius of a given rod. Long-time decay, up to 0.1 s, in the transient response of Pulsed Eddy Current (PEC), was examined as a potential method to quantify general corrosion in ferromagnetic rebar. The transient response of a coaxial solenoidal drive-receive coil pair, oriented parallel to the rebar axis, was analyzed over a range of distances into the concrete (liftoff) and rebar radii. At long times, the single exponential decay constant was largely independent of liftoff. A power law relationship for the characteristic decay time, consistent with long-time diffusion of electromagnetic fields into a rod, was observed. The intercept of a best-fit line to measured voltage decay, decreased exponentially with liftoff, and maintained a measurable response up to 110 mm distance for a 25 mm (1 in) diameter rebar. Reported results demonstrate potential for PEC to quantify remaining cross-sectional area of rebar in concrete structures.

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