Reliable non-destructive strength assessment in existing structures: myth or reality?

  • Denys Breysse Bordeaux University
  • Jean-Paul Balayssac LMDC, INSA/UPS Génie Civil, Toulouse
Keywords: assessment reliability, concrete structures, non-destructive techniques, on-site measurements, strength assessment


The non-destructive assessment of concrete strength in existing structures is a complex issue which has been analyzed by a recently closed RILEM committee (TC ISC 249) whose Guidelines and Recommendations are to be released soon. This committee has considered the state of practice, the yet existing standards and most recent innovative research results, in order to write recommendations that would improve the reliability of strength assessment with non-destructive techniques (NDT). These recommendations are based on a paradigm change: the challenge is not that of finding the true local strength, but that of estimating its value with a controlled tolerance interval and a limited risk of being wrong. Three levels of requirements are defined which correspond to different tolerance intervals on the assessed parameters and to a different amount of resources devoted to the investigation. While most of research had been devoted until now to the identification of relevant conversion models between NDT test results and strength, we have shown that the priority had to be put on other items, including the assessment of the NDT test results repeatability, the relevant definition of core locations and the checking of the final predictive error. This paper briefly describes the main innovations included in these recommendations.

How to Cite
Breysse, D. and Balayssac, J.-P. (2019) “Reliable non-destructive strength assessment in existing structures: myth or reality?”, RILEM Technical Letters, 3, pp. 129-134. doi: 10.21809/rilemtechlett.2018.73.