A comparison of steel/concrete and glass fiber reinforced polymers/concrete interface testing by guided waves

Won Bae Na, Tribikram Kundu, Mohammad R. Ehsani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Glass fiber reinforced polymer rods or bars are being used for reinforcing concrete structures. In comparison to conventional steel reinforcing bars, the glass fiber reinforced polymer bars are less likely to corrode when subjected to deicing materials and seawater. However, glass fiber reinforced polymers can be corroded due to chemical reactions that are different from the ones that corrode steel. This corrosion can deteriorate the glass fiber reinforced polymer/concrete interface and cause delamination or loss of bond, the most common secondary interface deterioration in reinforced concrete. Ultrasonic guided waves, because of their long distance testing capability, have been used for detecting delamination at the steel/concrete interface. In this paper, the possibility of developing similar guided wave testing techniques for testing glass fiber reinforced polymer/concrete interface delamination is investigated. Developing ultrasonic techniques for glass fiber reinforced polymer/concrete interface testing is more challenging because glass fiber reinforced polymers have high attenuation. Hence, many techniques that are used for steel testing do not work very well for fiber reinforced polymers. Here the ultrasonic guided wave technique is applied to concrete beams reinforced by glass fiber reinforced polymer bars to investigate the effect of high attenuation. This study shows that the ultrasonic guided wave testing technique has potential for both glass fiber reinforced polymer/concrete and steel/concrete interface testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials Evaluation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003



  • Delamination detection
  • Guided waves
  • Interface testing
  • Reinforced concrete testing
  • Ultrasonic waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)

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