ZL Research Group

Welcome to Dr. Zhen Leng's Research Group

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Non-Destructive Evaluation


Non-Destructive Evaluation of Infrastructure


Non-destructive testing and evaluation (NDT&E) methods are utilized by our group to assess the condition of various structural components of in-service highway infrastructure assets, such as pavement, bridges, and tunnels, without damaging them. Routine inspection of transportation infrastructure using NDT&E techniques is vital to ensure its structural and functional serviceability. Our research group fulfils the need for unbiased expertise to evaluate emerging NDT&E technologies, as well as data analysis, fusion, and interpretation. The ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technique has been successfully implemented by group researchers for asphalt pavement layer thickness profiling, in-place density estimation, sub-surface defects detection, and railway ballast fouling evaluation. We also developed real-time processing techniques incorporating advanced artificial intelligence algorithms for high-quality data interpretation. Besides GPR, the non-nuclear density gauge (NNDG) and Infrared (IR) thermography methods are utilized to provide real-time compaction degree and thermal segregation monitoring during asphalt pavement construction. We also apply acoustic emission (AE), X-ray CT, and digital cameras in multi-scale distress detection of asphalt pavement.