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Nondestructive Evaluation Activities


Spearheaded by the needs associated with the nations deteriorating infrastructure, innovative nondestructive evaluation methods directed toward early diagnosis and repair have evolved.

The Constructed Facilities Center has a strong research program in the area of NDE of civil structures and materials. Our specialty in this field is the conversion of laboratory technology to portable, field-applicable equipment. NDE methods permit testing or inspecting materials and structures without impairing their usefulness. These methods can be applied to both laboratory and field-testing.

Current areas of NDE applications include:

  • Evaluation of materials
  • Quality control during manufacturing/fabrication of structural components made from concrete, steel, wood, fiber reinforced polymer, composite materials and others
  • Condition assessment of structures such as buildings, bridges, highways, pipes and poles and underground and offshore structures

The ongoing research at the Center includes developing new structural applications using several NDE techniques, such as vibration monitoring, ultrasonic and acoustic emissions. The following NDE devices are developed at CFC-WVU:

  • Infrared thermograph-based technique to locate laminations of wrapped composite materials to substrates such as steel, concrete or timber
  • A laser vibrometer system including a numerically controlled gantry to snap vibration responses and detect structural defects
  • An axial force measuring device based on vibration monitoring to provide inspectors with a precise tension level in bridge members
  • An acoustic emission-monitoring device, which measures the stress in a structural member and estimates the remaining safe life of that member