Written by Amy Hall
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NDT Stands for Non-Destructive Testing

NDT, which is the abbreviated form of the term non-destructive testing, is a means of determining where subsurface utilities are located. This word is interchangeable with the words Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) or surface penetrating radar. What these words mean is this way of looking for and locating subsurface utilities uses radar instead of traditional X-rays to accomplish this goal.

GPR systems are unique in that they allow professionals in the fields of engineering, mining, forensics, geology, and mapping and planning figure out the precise location of all utilities without ever having to dig up to drill into the ground. This takes the guesswork out of excavating as construction crews know beforehand which areas to avoid. Ultimately, this saves on time and money, which are often two things that go beyond the alloted amount.

Non-destructive Testing Provides Safety

In addition to being convenient and cost-effective, NDT is also an enormous safety precaution for construction workers. Engineers who plan the building of structures such as highways, bridges, or buildings, know that they must be able to precisely tell construction crews areas that contain subsurface utilities in order to avoid accidents. Cutting into live electrical wires or conduit can cause electrocution or fires.

Testing is done by scanning a targeted area with an antenna. Radio pulses are emitted when embedded subsurface utilities are detected and located. Data can then be downloaded onto a laptop computer for further detailed analysis as to the exact depth and location of the utilities.

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