Comprehensive Inspection System for Concrete Bridge Deck Application: Current Situation and Future Needs

Sherif Abdelkhalek, Tarek Zayed

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Concrete bridge decks are vital components of bridges that provide the driving surface to bridge users. Partial or complete failure of this component has a significant impact on the overall performance of the bridge and, consequently, on the subsequent highway network(s). In this regard, periodical inspections are typically conducted to ensure the integrity of bridges and to determine the required maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement work. Nevertheless, current practices in inspection (i.e., visual inspection) are time-consuming and suffer from several limitations, such as subjectivity and uncertainty. In addition, visual inspection provides limited defect-detection capabilities. Therefore, nondestructive technologies (NDTs), such as impact echo, ultrasonic surface wave, half-cell potential, ground-penetrating radar, infrared thermography, and image-based techniques, have been incorporated into inspection processes to tackle such limitations. However, none of these technologies can identify all types of defects, which reveals the critical need for a comprehensive inspection system. Accordingly, several studies have incorporated multitechnology systems in the inspection process to expand defect-detection capabilities and to ensure successful inspection outcomes. Previous studies also investigated the performance criteria of different NDTs, which provide beneficial information for choosing the most effective techniques for inspection purposes. The present research aims at assessing the capabilities of different NDTs, providing an overview of the developed multitechnology systems and reviewing the main criteria to measure the performance of NDTs. The review provides insight into recent developments in the inspection process, which helps in identifying future needs in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number03120001
JournalJournal of Performance of Constructed Facilities
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Concrete bridge deck
  • Inspection
  • Nondestructive technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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