Ultrasonic echo and transmission techniques are used in civil engineering on a regular basis. New sensors and data processing techniques have lead to many new applications in the structural investigation as well as quality control. But concrete structures in the nuclear sector have special features and parameters, which pose problems for the methods and instrumentation currently available, e.g. extreme thickness, dense reinforcement, steel liners or special materials. Several innovative ultrasonic techniques have been developed to deal with these issues at least partly in lab experiments and pilot studies. Modern imaging techniques as multi-offset SAFT have been used e. g. to map delaminations. Thick concrete walls have successfully been inspected, partly through a steel liner. Embedded ultrasonic sensors have been designed which will be used in monitoring networks of large concrete structures above and below ground. In addition, sensitive mathematical methods as coda wave interferometry have been successfully evaluated to detect subtle changes in material properties. Examples of measurements and data evaluation are presented.
Wiggenhauser, H., & Niederleithinger, E. (2013). Innovative Ultrasonic Techniques for Inspection and Monitoring of Large Concrete Structures. EPJ Web of Conferences, 56, 04004. https://doi.org/10.1051/epjconf/20135604004