Dielectric Properties of Concrete at S- and X-Band: A Near-Field Investigation


When inspecting concrete structures with microwaves (radars, embedded microwave sensors, modulated scattering techniques, etc.) the dielectric properties of the concrete are considered as a ground truth data and must be known. During the past three years, extensive microwave near-field measurements of the reflection properties of concrete specimens with varying water-to-cement (w/c) ratios, sand-to-cement (s/c) ratios and coarse aggregate-to-cement (ca/c) ratios have been conducted. These experiments were conducted using open-ended rectangular waveguide probes radiating into a half-space of these concrete specimens. These measurements were conducted at S- (2.6-3.95 GHz) and X-bands (8.2-12.4 GHz). Moreover, an electromagnetic model, which took into account the presence of higher-order modes at the waveguide aperture, was also used to model this process. Finally, a root finding technique was applied to calculate the effective dielectric properties of the concrete specimens. This paper presents the results of these measurements and calculations as they related to determining the dielectric properties of concrete. Since concrete is a heterogeneous material, the results from many locations in a specimen are reported rendering effective dielectric properties showing the mean and standard deviation of the measurements and calculations at these frequency bands. The results of the dielectric constant can also be used to predict the reflection properties of concrete when using a standoff distance (i.e. non-contact measurements) or when using other types of microwave sensors.

Meeting Name

Subsurface Sensors and Applications (1999, Jul. 19-21, Denver, CO)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Band Structure; Cements; Dielectric Properties Of Solids; Microwaves; Nondestructive Examination; Numerical Methods; Permittivity; Porosity; Reflection; Rocks; Sand; Water; Frequency Bands; Microwave Near Field Measurement; Microwave Testing; Noncontact Measurement; Open Ended Rectangular Waveguide Probes; Concretes

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1999 SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 1999