Single-Impact Nonlinear Resonant Acoustic Spectroscopy for Monitoring the Progressive Alkali–Silica Reaction in Concrete

  • Jiang Jin
  • Weilun Xi
  • Jacques Riviere
  • Parisa ShokouhiEmail author


Alkali–silica reaction (ASR) is a ubiquitous cause of concrete degradation. The reaction produces an expandable gel that may cause internal over-stressing and cracking. This paper demonstrates the utility of single-impact nonlinear resonant acoustic spectroscopy (SINRAS) for monitoring the progress of ASR over the course of a standard ASR-susceptibility test. In SINRAS, the transient softening and subsequent recovery of resonance frequency due to one strong impact are analyzed. The performance of SINRAS in monitoring ASR is compared to that of multi-impact nonlinear resonant acoustic spectroscopy (MINRAS), where the gradual resonance frequency shifts caused by impacts of increasing intensity is measured. The changes in standard linear expansion and linear resonance frequency are recorded in parallel. Finally, the sensitivity of measured parameters to sample temperature is investigated. Our findings indicate that SINRAS, while being much simpler and faster to conduct, yields results that strongly correlate to those from MINRAS and even gives an additional parameter describing the rate of recovery. The extracted nonlinearity parameters exhibit good sensitivity and clearly differentiate between concrete with reactive and non-reactive aggregates. Further, this study suggests that the influence of sample temperature on the nonlinearity parameters depends on the level of ASR progression and has to be taken account.


Concrete Alkali–silica reaction Non-destructive evaluation Nonlinear acoustics Nonlinear resonant acoustic spectroscopy 



Weilun Xi was supported through a Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) award of Penn State’s College of Engineering in Summer 2015. This support is greatly acknowledged.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Engineering Science and MechanicsThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Engineering Science and MechanicsThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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