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Design and qualification of US NDE for detection of concrete swelling pathologies

​Florian Ouvrier-Buffet has defended his thesis​ on 13th December 2019 in Aix-en-Provence , France

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Research Unit > IRSN/PSN-RES/SEREX/L2EC

Authors > Florian OUVRIER-BUFFET

Publication Date > 13/12/2019

Summary

​This PhD work focuses on the early detection by ultrasonic non-destructive testing (NDT) of two concrete swelling pathologies, the Delayed Ettringite Formation (DEF) and the Alkali Silica Reaction (ASR). These lead to damage the concrete first by micro-cracking, then by cracking. The early detection of these pathologies in the laboratory and then on site is a major safety issue, particularly in the case of nuclear structures.
The study first focuses on the sensitivity of nonlinear acoustics and Acoustic emission to DEF. To do this, different methods were carried out in the laboratory and then compared.
Then, the work has consisted in developing an NDT technique able to detect and locate pathologies at the centre of thick concrete blocks. This required the pouring of a concrete block of large dimensions containing a sandstone insert, simulating a pathology due to its non-linear nature. The NDT method developed is based on nonlinear non classical acoustics exploiting the interaction between a propagative pump wave and a probe wave. In the end, the sandstone ball was detected and located with a high contrast. A process to make the measurements quantitative has been initiated.
The results of this PhD work pave the way for an on-site transfer of the proposed method.


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