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Test method for appraising future durability of new concrete bridge decks

Yaman, İsmail Özgür
Birgul, R.
Aktan, H.M.
Hearn, N.
Staton, J.F.
The nondestructive test procedure for quantifying the future durability of bridge deck concrete is based on the fundamental relationship between ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) and the permeability of an elastic medium. An experimental study using standard concrete cylindrical specimens (ASTM C192) documented adequate sensitivity between UPV and permeability. The test procedure uses a parameter directly proportional to increase in-field concrete permeability called paste quality loss (PQL). The PQL is computed from UPV measurements on standard concrete specimens made from field concrete mixture (ASTM C31) and measurements on field concrete. Deck replacement projects on three National Highway System bridges were used as demonstration sites to implement the test procedure. The 56-day PQLs were calculated as 15%, 28%, and 9%, demonstrating a significant variability in the permeability of the three bridge decks. Field permeability tests were also conducted with Figg’s apparatus for comparison purposes. The PQL evaluation from postconstruction measurements is an effective and reliable method for testing the future durability of bridge decks.