Experimental monitoring of chloride-induced reinforcement corrosion and chloride contamination in concrete with ground-penetrating radar

Shuxian Hong, Wai Lok Lai, Rosemarie Helmerich

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we present a laboratory experiment to monitor the accelerated corrosion in concrete using ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Four concrete test specimens were cast with rebars of different size and placed at different depths. The lifetime decades of reinforcement corrosion process were accelerated into 18 days by using the impress current technique. The electrochemical corrosion process was periodically monitored with GPR. Two control specimens were also prepared to investigate the influence of chloride contamination on GPR signal. The measured data were analysed both in time and frequency domains. In time domain, the peak-to-peak amplitude of a wave reflected by a rebar was calculated to investigate the relationship between an increase in signal amplitude and the degree of corrosion. In frequency domain, the time–frequency representations of the signal were computed by using S-transform. The results show that reinforce corrosion increased the amplitude of reflected signal in time domain but did not change the peak frequency in frequency domain while chloride contamination attenuates the signal to smaller amplitude and lower peak frequency. Based on the results, a novel process is finally proposed for GPR-based corrosion detection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • chloride
  • GPR
  • moisture
  • reinforcement corrosion
  • S-transform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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