Neil Cox, Nicholas Huttemann and Spencer Cox

Neil Cox, CEO, SoundQA Solutions Inc, 6158 Elgin Avenue, Burnaby BC V5H 3S4, neil.cox@soundqa.com
Nicholas Huttemann, Product Engineer, SoundQA Solutions Inc, 6158 Elgin Avenue, Burnaby BC, nick.huttemann@soundqa.com
Spencer Cox, Co-Founder, SoundQA Solutions Inc, 6158 Elgin Avenue, Burnaby BC V5H 3S4, spencer.cox@soundqa.com

ABSTRACT
This paper presents preliminary evaluation results and refinements for a new non-destructive method of estimating the strength of concrete masonry and related units using acoustics. The
method provides fast, simple, non-destructive, and economical strength testing. Usage involves gently striking the unit with a pendulum and analyzing the resulting acoustic impulse response. Results are produced immediately. Results are presented for a study conducted in cooperation of the NCMA testing lab, where the method was applied along with standard testing for more than 100 ASTM C140 testing projects. Results for 59 projects involving testing of 20cm concrete masonry units are presented. The method was shown to be extraordinarily repeatable, and a strong correlation with estimates of compressive strength obtained through compression testing was demonstrated. There is also evidence that the method is more precise than compression testing. These results, combined with its simplicity and ease of use, support introduction of the method to complement existing testing methods in concrete quality assurance programs.

KEYWORDS: acoustics, concrete, masonry, NDT, non-destructive, strength, testing