Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Caesar Abi Shdid

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Yimin Zhu

Third Advisor's Name

Nakin Suksawang

Fourth Advisor's Name

Hesham Ali

Fifth Advisor's Name

Ton-Lo Wang


Civil Engineering, Drilled shaft foundations

Date of Defense



Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) of deep foundations has become an integral part of the industry’s standard manufacturing processes. It is not unusual for the evaluation of the integrity of the concrete to include the measurement of ultrasonic wave speeds. Numerous methods have been proposed that use the propagation speed of ultrasonic waves to check the integrity of concrete for drilled shaft foundations. All such methods evaluate the integrity of the concrete inside the cage and between the access tubes. The integrity of the concrete outside the cage remains to be considered to determine the location of the border between the concrete and the soil in order to obtain the diameter of the drilled shaft. It is also economic to devise a methodology to obtain the diameter of the drilled shaft using the Cross-Hole Sonic Logging system (CSL). Performing such a methodology using the CSL and following the CSL tests is performed and used to check the integrity of the inside concrete, thus allowing the determination of the drilled shaft diameter without having to set up another NDT device.

This proposed new method is based on the installation of galvanized tubes outside the shaft across from each inside tube, and performing the CSL test between the inside and outside tubes. From the performed experimental work a model is developed to evaluate the relationship between the thickness of concrete and the ultrasonic wave properties using signal processing. The experimental results show that there is a direct correlation between concrete thicknesses outside the cage and maximum amplitude of the received signal obtained from frequency domain data. This study demonstrates how this new method to measuring the diameter of drilled shafts during construction using a NDT method overcomes the limitations of currently-used methods.

In the other part of study, a new method is proposed to visualize and quantify the extent and location of the defects. It is based on a color change in the frequency amplitude of the signal recorded by the receiver probe in the location of defects and it is called Frequency Tomography Analysis (FTA). Time-domain data is transferred to frequency-domain data of the signals propagated between tubes using Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). Then, distribution of the FTA will be evaluated. This method is employed after CSL has determined the high probability of an anomaly in a given area and is applied to improve location accuracy and to further characterize the feature. The technique has a very good resolution and clarifies the exact depth location of any void or defect through the length of the drilled shaft for the voids inside the cage.

The last part of study also evaluates the effect of voids inside and outside the reinforcement cage and corrosion in the longitudinal bars on the strength and axial load capacity of drilled shafts. The objective is to quantify the extent of loss in axial strength and stiffness of drilled shafts due to presence of different types of symmetric voids and corrosion throughout their lengths.





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