Application of PZT technology and clustering algorithm for debonding detection of steel-UHPC composite slabs

Banfu Yan, Qiqi Zou, You Dong, Xudong Shao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


A lightweight composite bridge deck system composed of steel orthotropic deck stiffened with thin Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) layer has been proposed to eliminate fatigue cracks in orthotropic steel decks. The debonding between steel deck and UHPC layer may be introduced during construction and operation phases, which could cause adverse consequences, such as crack-induced water invasion and distinct reduction of the shear resistance. The piezoelectric lead zirconate titanate (PZT)-based technologies are used to detect interfacial debonding defects between the steel deck and the UHPC layer. Both impedance analysis and wave propagation method are employed to extract debonding features of the steel-UHPC composite slab with debonding defect in different sizes and thicknesses. Experimental tests are performed on two steel-UHPC composite slabs and a conventional steel-concrete composite deck. Additionally, an improved Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO)-k-means clustering algorithm is adopted to obtain debonding patterns based on the feature data set. The laboratory tests demonstrate that the proposed approach provides an effective way to detect interfacial debonding of steel-UHPC composite deck.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2953
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2018


  • Clustering algorithm
  • Composite slab
  • Debonding detection
  • PZT technology
  • Steel-UHPC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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