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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

A Study of Concrete Hydration and Dielectric Relaxation Mechanism Using Ground Penetrating Radar and Short-Time Fourier Transform

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20102010:317216

Received: 7 January 2010

Accepted: 5 July 2010

Published: 20 July 2010


Ground penetrating radar (GPR) was used to characterize the frequency-dependent dielectric relaxation phenomena in ordinary Portland cement (OPC) hydration in concrete changing from fresh to hardened state. The study was experimented by measuring the changes of GPR A-scan waveforms over a period of 90 days, and processed the waveforms with short-time Fourier transform (STFT) in joint time-frequency analysis (JTFA) domain rather than a conventional time or frequency domain alone. The signals of the direct wave traveled at the concrete surface and the reflected wave from an embedded steel bar were transformed with STFT, in which the changes of peak frequency over ages were tracked. The peak frequencies were found to increase with ages and the patterns were found to match closely with primarily the well-known OPC hydration process and secondarily, the evaporation effect. The close match is contributed to the simultaneous effects converting free to bound water over time, on both conventional OPC hydration and dielectric relaxation mechanisms.


RadarPeak FrequencyDielectric RelaxationOrdinary Portland CementGround Penetrate Radar

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Authors’ Affiliations

Division VIII.2, BAM, Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin, Germany


© W. L. Lai et al. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.