SUBJECT: M.S. Thesis Presentation
BY: Krzysztof Lesnicki
TIME: Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 12:00 p.m.
PLACE: Sustainable Education Building (SEB), 122
TITLE: Nonlinear Resonance Methods for assessing ASR susceptibility during Concrete Prism Testing (CPT)
COMMITTEE: Dr. Laurence J. Jacobs, Chair (ME/CEE)
Dr. Kimberly E. Kurtis (CEE)
Dr. Jin-Yeon Kim (CEE)
Dr. Olivier Pierron (ME)


This research focuses on the characterization of damage accumulation in concrete specimens. Specifically, a nonlinear vibration technique is used to characterize the damage introduced by ongoing alkali-silica reactions (ASR). The nonlinear resonance testing consists of an analysis of the frequency response of concrete specimens subjected to impact loading. ASR introduces a third gel like phase, which can be expansive in the presence of moisture. The result of ASR is the formation of microcracks and debonding between aggregate and cement phases. Collectively, these changes act to increase the specimensí nonlinearity. As a result, it is found that the concrete samples exhibit nonlinear behavior; mainly a decrease in resonance frequency with an increasing level of excitation strain. The relationship between the amplitude of the response and the amount of frequency shift is used as a parameter to describe the nonlinearity of the specimen. The specimens used in this research are of varying reactivity with respect to ASR, which is induced in accordance with ASTM C 1293. The level of nonlinearity is used as a measure of damage caused by the progress of ASR throughout the one year test duration. These nonlinear resonance results are compared to the traditional measures of expansion described in the standard. The robustness and repeatability of the proposed technique is also investigated by repeated testing of samples assumed to be at a specific damage state. Finally, a petrographic staining technique is used to complement nonlinearity measurements and to further gain understanding of ASR. The results of this study show that the proposed nonlinear resonance methods are very sensitive to microstructural changes and have great potential for quantitative damage assessment in concrete.