The synergy of ultrasonic experiments, numerical analyses of wave propagation and scattering theories in cementitious materials

Sokratis Iliopoulos, Lucas De Smet, Dimitrios Angelis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperResearch


The final properties of cementitious materials (strength and durability) strongly depend on the mix proportions and the
fresh state of the latter. It is therefore imperative to investigate the early stages, assess the quality of the mixes as well as
monitor their time evolution. In this direction, ultrasonic measurements, since many decades, have been proposed as the
most efficient tool for quality control and condition characterization due to their ability to inspect, detect, locate and
continuously monitor the material’s performance throughout the entire lifetime. However, wave propagation can be quite
complicated, especially if the material heterogeneity and wave-microstructure interactions are taken into account. For this
reason, in the current study, the ultrasonic experiments are complemented by numerical analyses of wave propagation
offering the advantage of easier, faster, repeatable and parametric implementation. The strong dispersion and attenuation
trends observed in both the experiments and the numerical tests make, herein, the additional implementation of scattering
theories necessary as the third pillar. The results show good match between the experimental and the numerical methods
as well as between the numerical simulations and scattering theories, thus providing a more holistic insight of wave
propagation in microstructured cementitious materials. In the framework of this study, cement pastes and mortars
(containing sand or glass beads as aggregates) are investigated, while the results are demonstrated in terms of pulse velocity
and attenuation as a function of frequency revealing interesting information on the influence of the aggregate content on
the quality of the mixes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmart Materials and Nondestructive Evaluation for Energy Systems IV
EditorsTheodoros E. Matikas
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781510616981
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2018
EventSPIE SSNDE 2018 -
Duration: 27 Mar 2018 → …

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceSPIE SSNDE 2018
Period27/03/18 → …


  • air content
  • attenuation
  • cementitious materials
  • glass beads
  • phase velocity
  • pulse velocity
  • scattering theories
  • ultrasonics
  • wave dispersion
  • wave propagation


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