Investigation into the Effectiveness of Ultrasonic Tomography for Grouting Quality Evaluation


This study is aimed to determine the influence of the parameters relevant for the application of ultrasonic tomography in the field of grouting quality evaluation. The parameters tested were the wave velocity difference between concrete and grout (VDCG), the type of material used for a pipe, and the type of pre-stressed tendon within the pipe. Fourteen cube specimens were constructed, and a theoretical model was used to analyse the effects of these parameters. The results show that these parameters affect each other on the detection effectiveness of ultrasonic tomography, and that VDCG affects it most. It was found that ultrasonic tomography is suitable for the evaluation of grouting quality in post-tensioned structures when VDCG is small and the type of tendon used is a steel bar.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Aggelis, D. G., Tsimpris, N., Chai, H. K., Shiotani, T., and Kobayashi, Y. (2011). “Numerical simulation of elastic waves for visualization of defects.” Construction and Building Materials, Vol. 25, No. 4, 1503–1512, DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2010.08.008.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Andersen, A. H. and Kak, A. C. (1984). “Simultaneous algebraic reconstruction technique (SART): A superior implementation of the ART algorithm.” Ultrasonic Imaging, Vol. 6, No. 1, 81–94, DOI: 10.1177/016173468400600107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Asakawa, E. and Kawanaka, T. (1993). “Seismic ray tracing using linear traveltime interpolation.” Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. 41, No. 1, 99–111, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2478.1993.tb00567.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Breysse, D. (2012). Non-Destructive Assessment of Concrete Structures: Reliability and Limits of Single and Combined Techniques: State-of-the-Art Report of the RILEM Technical Committee 207-INR, Springer Science & Business Media, Germany.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Chai, H. K., Momoki, S., Kobayashi, Y., Aggelis, D. G., and Shiotani, T. (2011). “Tomographic reconstruction for concrete using attenuation of ultrasound.” Ndt & E International, Vol. 44, No. 2, 206–215, DOI: 10.1016/j.ndteint.2010.11.003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Haach, V. G. and Ramirez, F. C. (2016). “Qualitative assessment of concrete by ultrasound tomography.” Construction and Building Materials, Vol. 119, pp. 61–70, DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2016.05.056.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Jackson, M. J., Tweeton, D. R. (1994). MIGRATOM-geophysical tomography using wavefront migration and fuzzy constraints. Minneapolis, MN: US Department of Interior, Bureau of Mines.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Lankard, D. R., Thompson, N., Sprinkel, M. M., and Virmani, Y. P. (1993). “Grouts for bonded post-tensioned concrete construction: Protecting prestressing steel from corrosion.” ACI Materials Journal, Vol. 90, No. 5, 406–414, DOI: 10.14359/3867.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Liu, K. F., Chai, H. K., Mehrabi, N., Yoshikazu, K., and Shiotani, T. (2014). “Condition assessment of PC tendon duct filling by elastic wave velocity mapping.” The Scientific World Journal, Vol. 2014, pp. 1–14, DOI: 10.1155/2014/194295.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Lu, J. B. and Fang, Z. (2014). “An improved ray-tracing algorithm based on linear travel-time interpolation.” Acta Seismologica Sinica, Vol. 36, No. 6, 1089–1100, DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.0253-3782.2014.06.010. (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Martin, J., Broughton, K. J., Giannopolous, A., Hardy, M. S. A., and Forde, M. C. (2001). “Ultrasonic tomography of grouted duct posttensioned reinforced concrete bridge beams.” NDT & E International, Vol. 34, No. 2, 107–113, DOI: 10.1016/S0963-8695(00)00035-9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Muldoon, R., Chalker, A., Forde, M. C., Ohtsu, M., and Kunisue, F. (2007). “Identifying voids in plastic ducts in post-tensioning prestressed concrete members by resonant frequency of impact–echo, SIBIE and tomography.” Construction and Building Materials, Vol. 21, No. 3, 527–537, DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2006.04.009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Osawa, S., Shiotani, T., Kitora, H., and Momiyama, Y. (2014). “Damage visualization of imperfectly-grouted sheath in PC structures.” In 31st Conference of the European Working Group on Acoustic Emission, German Society for Non-Destructive, Dresden, Germany.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Woodward, R. J. and Williams, F. W. (1988). “Collapse of Yns-y-gwas Bridge, Glamorgan.” Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Vol. 84, No. 4, 635–669, DOI: 10.1680/iicep.1988.179.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Zhi Fang.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lu, J., Tang, S., Dai, X. et al. Investigation into the Effectiveness of Ultrasonic Tomography for Grouting Quality Evaluation. KSCE J Civ Eng 22, 5094–5101 (2018).

Download citation


  • post-tensioned concrete
  • ducts
  • voids
  • ultrasonic
  • tomography