Strides in Nondestructive Testing

by Larry D. Olson, Principal Engineer; Olson Wright NTD and E Inc., Lakewood, CO,
Cliff Wright, Principal Geologist; Olson Wright NTD and E Inc., Lakewood, CO,
Kenneth H. Stokoe, II, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Civil Engineering Dept., University of Texas, Austin, TX,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 5, Pg. 52-55

Document Type: Feature article


Stress wave methods of nondestructive testing are increasingly used in civil engineering applications. Four case histories of the use of different types of stress wave testing are given. Spectral analysis of surface wave was used to determine the density of a landslide mass in Italy. Seismic echo and impulse response methods were both used to assess the integrity of a drilled shaft foundation. Impulse response was the method used to test for the integrity of subgrade support of slabs on grade. Impact echo is another nondestructive testing method; an example is given of its use to evaluate the condition of a dam built in the early 1920s. Each method is defined and described, and in all the case histories, results are compared with conventional test methods and found to be accurate. All nondestructive methods have the advantages of economy and the ability to investigate large areas and obtain data in situ with undisturbed conditions. These new tools can also define the limits and nature of defects. Finally, they cause little or no damage in the testing process.

Subject Headings: Surface waves | Stress waves | Case studies | Nondestructive tests | Spectral analysis | Wave spectrum | Power spectral density | Landslides | Italy | Europe

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