Field tests were conducted in three boreholes using an ultrasonic testing method to evaluate its ability to assess contact between the seal and riser (casing). The ultrasonic method is used inside the riser without disturbing the riser, seal, or formation soil. The risers were 50-mm-diameter (2-inch) Schedule 40 steel pipes that are used for ground water monitoring wells. Different types of seals were placed around the risers and defects were purposely introduced in the seals to test the ultrasonic method. The ultrasonic response changed as the neat-cement seals cured or hydration of the bentonite seals changed. When adequate moisture was not available, the bentonite seals deteriorated, losing contact with the riser. When adequate moisture was available, however, the seals swelled into contact with the riser. Both conditions were detected with the ultrasonic method. The method also detected the intentional defects, as well as defects that were not intended. The boreholes were excavated to compare results of the ultrasonic tests with the actual condition of the seals. The condition of the seals agreed well with the results of the ultrasonic tests.


Civil and Environmental Engineering



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