A new non-destructive testing (NDT) method for defect detection in concrete structures is presented. The method is based on the dynamic response of flawed concrete structures subjected to impact loading. Conversely to similar NDT techniques, such as the impact-echo method, the present method uses non-contacting devices for both impact generation (a shock tube producing shock waves) and response monitoring (laser vibrometers measuring concrete surface velocity). Experimental and numerical (finite element) studies have been carried out for concrete specimens containing artificial defects (penny-shaped cracks parallel to the free surface) with varying length and depth. According to the experimental and numerical results, it appears that the present method enables an effective detection of defects, particularly in the range of shallow defects.
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