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Published November 2012 | public
Journal Article

Monitoring the hydration of cement using highly nonlinear solitary waves


In this paper we present a nondestructive evaluation technique based on the propagation of highly nonlinear solitary waves (HNSWs) to monitor the hydration of cement. HNSWs are mechanical waves that can form and travel in highly nonlinear systems, such as one-dimensional chains of contacting spherical particles (i.e., granular crystals). In the present study, we use a granular crystal-based actuator/sensor to observe the solitary waves propagating to and from the mechanical interface between the transducer and a fresh gypsum cement sample. We hypothesize that the reflected HNSWs traveling along the crystal-based transducer are affected by the hydration process of the cement, and we assess the elastic modulus of the specimen in the localized region of the granular crystal contact. To verify the experimental results, we perform numerical simulations based on a simplified finite element model. The elastic properties of the cement specimen measured by the granular crystal transducer are compared with the compressive strength and the elastic modulus measurements obtained from destructive tests, conducted according to the ASTM C109. We observe good agreement between experiments and numerical simulations.

Additional Information

© 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Received 8 June 2011; received in revised for 1 May 2012; accepted 9 May 2012; available online 22 May 2012. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation grant CMMI-0825983 (Dr. Eduardo Misawa, Program Director). CD also acknowledges support from NSF/CMMI-0844540 (Career). PR and XN also t hank the 2009 American Society for Nondestructive Testing Fellowship Award. We thank Dr. Julie Vandenbossche at the University of Pittsburgh for the usage of the Test Mark equipment.

Additional details

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