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Effectiveness of Several NDE Technologies in Detecting Moisture Pockets and: Artificial Defects in Sawn Timber and Glulam



Publication type:

Full Proceedings

Primary Station(s):

Forest Products Laboratory


Several nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technologies were studied to determine their efficacy as scanning devices to detect internal moisture and artificial decay pockets. Large bridge-sized test specimens, including sawn timber and glued-laminated timber members, were fabricated with various internal defects. NDE Technologies evaluated in this research were ground penetrating radar (GPR), microwave scanning, ultrasonic pulse velocity, ultrasonic shear wave tomography, and impact echo methods. Each NDE technology was used to evaluate a set of seven test specimens over a 2-day period and then raw data scans were processed into two-dimensional, internal defect maps. Several parameters were, compared including the relative size, orientation, and moisture conditions of the internal defect. GPR was the most promising NDE technology and is currently being more rigorously evaluated within the laboratory. The study results will be useful in the further development of a reliable NDE scanning technique that can be utilized to inspect the primary structural components in historic covered timber bridges.


Wacker, James P.; Senalik, C. Adam; Wang, Xiping; Jalinoos, Frank. 2016. Effectiveness of several NDE technologies in detecting moisture pockets and artificial defects in sawn timber and glulam. In: World Conference on Timer Engineering, WCTE 2016. 22-25 August 2016; Vienna, Austria. 7 pp.

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