Preliminary study on assessing delaminated cracks in cement asphalt mortar layer of high-speed rail track using traditional and normalized impact– echo methods

Ying Tzu Ke, Chia Chi Cheng, Yung Chiang Lin, Yi Qing Ni, Keng Tsang Hsu, Tai Tung Wai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The severe deterioration of a cement asphalt (CA) mortar layer may lead to the movement of the upper concrete slab and impair the safety of the speedy train. In this study, a test specimen simulating the structure of high-speed rail track slabs was embedded with delaminated cracks in various lateral sizes inside the CA mortar layer. Impact–echo tests (IE) were performed above the flawed and flawless locations. In present study, the IE method is chosen to assess defects in the CA mortar layer. Both traditional IE and normalized IE are used for data interpolation. The normalized IE are the simulated transfer function of the original IE response. The peak amplitudes in the normalized amplitude spectrum and the peak frequency in the traditional amplitude spectrum for the top concrete overlay were used to develop simple indicators for identifying the integrity of the CA mortar layer. The index was based on the difference of the experimental peak amplitude and frequency of the ones calculated from previously developed formulas for plates without substrates. As a result, the technique does not require an experimental baseline for the crack assessment. A field test and analysis procedure for evaluating high-speed rail slab systems are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3022
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Cement asphalt mortar
  • Concrete
  • Crack
  • Echo
  • Flaw detection
  • High-speed rail track slab
  • Impact
  • Normalized amplitude spectrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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