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Damage Identification of Crumbling Foundation using Non-Destructive Methods and Image Processing

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ASEE-NE 2022


Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts

Publication Date

April 22, 2022

Start Date

April 22, 2022

End Date

April 23, 2022

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Rinchen Tsewang Sherpa University of Connecticut, Civil Engineering

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First year Structural Engineering masters student at UConn, studying under my advisors Dr. Shinae Jang and Dr. Kay Wille.

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Shinae Jang P.E. University of Connecticut Orcid 16x16

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Prof. Shinae Jang is Associate Professor in Residence and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Connecticut (UConn). She joined UConn in 2010 after receiving her B.S. and M.S. from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Prof. Jang’s research interests include smart structures, structural health monitoring, wireless sensor networks, and engineering education. At UConn, she has taught 9 undergraduate courses and 2 graduate courses, including a new graduate course she developed based on her research in structural health monitoring and sensors. Prof. Jang is the recipient of the 2021 Distinguished Engineering Educator award from UConn, and the 2018 Civil Engineering Educator of the Year award from the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers. She has served as the faculty advisor of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) UConn Chapter since 2012.

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During recent years, deterioration of the deeper core of concrete due to pyrrhotite reaction, so called ‘crumbling foundation’ has been an issue in Eastern Connecticut and parts of Massachusetts. Crumbling foundation is a devastating issue that not only affects municipal buildings, but residential ones as well. It has impacted families and residents of all backgrounds, causing an enormous amount of stress and worry in all cases. Providing a reliable and accurate way to determine the status of a foundation will not only be beneficial to the residents, giving them some ease in the end, but also the state and any local organizations looking to assess current cases of crumbling foundation. Current methods involve drilling out a four-inch diameter cylinder to test it for pyrrhotite, the main factor behind the crumbling foundation, and visual tests. In this paper, a collection of non-destructive testing (NDT) methods to assess the damage status of crumbling foundation is detailed. Using methods such as resonance frequency (RF) and surface resistivity (SR), the microstructure of the concrete foundation can be assessed and monitored. This is conducted in conjunction with crack monitoring devices such as digital calipers, crack width ruler, and a crack microscope to help verify and aid the data collected from the RF and SR devices. Additionally, image processing software such as ImageJ are used to also help in data verification and assessment. Accurately assessing the damage status of a building’s foundation will help homeowners decide what is the most appropriate next step to take and, in the process, save them money and time.

Sherpa, R. T., & Jang, S. (2022, April), Damage Identification of Crumbling Foundation using Non-Destructive Methods and Image Processing Paper presented at ASEE-NE 2022, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts. 10.18260/1-2--42160

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