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Structural Integrity of Stone Blocks From Charles Bridge in Prague



The Charles Bridge is the oldest, still-standing gothic bridge that crosses the Vltava River in Prague and up to now has belonged among the most sought-after historical monuments in the Czech Republic. The bridge has been repeatedly damaged due to floods and has been repaired several times. In the reconstructions, damaged sandstone blocks were substituted in facing. This experimental study focused on nonlinear ultrasonic spectroscopy for testing stone blocks that were extracted from the historical bridge structure. The objective of these experiments was verifying whether the methods can be applied to evaluating the internal structure of blocks, which are built-in in the structure in situ. Intact-structure blocks, blocks that had been repaired in the past, and damaged-structure blocks were measured. Two methods of nonlinear ultrasonic spectroscopy were applied-the method with single harmonic ultrasonic signal and with two harmonic ultrasonic signals. Measurement results of both applied methods proved resulting parameters correlation with block structure integrity quality.