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Review of Current NDE Technologies for
Post-earthquake Assessment of Retrofitted
Bridge Columns

J.W. Song, Z. Liang and G.C. Lee

MCEER-06-0008  | August 21, 2006

The major objective of this report is to evaluate various nondestructive testing/evaluation (NDE) technologies for use on bridge columns that have been retrofitted with FRP-type jackets. Suitable and/or potentially suitable techniques for practical applications are identified, and promising techniques that could benefit from additional research prior to use in engineering applications are assessed. For each technology, the inherent physical principles and application characteristics are analyzed and their advantages and disadvantages are compared to determine whether each method could be used to detect damage and defects in the jacketed bridge columns. The most promising NDE methods (such as the impact echo method and electromagnetic method) are identified and corresponding application procedures are then presented. This report focuses solely on the application of NDE technologies to bridge columns, and therefore, recommendations and conclusions herein may differ from those discovered for other applications. Furthermore, this is a rapidly advancing field, so some applications and conclusions may change in the coming years.

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