Non-destructive Concrete Testing

Written by Amy Hall
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Benefits of Using Non-Destructive Concrete Testing

Non-destructive concrete testing is done using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to detect and locate with accuracy subsurface utilities. Such utilities include underground electrical wires, water pipes, conduit location, and tension cables. It is very important to locate such devices before any type of drilling or digging take place, as any disturbances can actually cause a fire, electrocution, or water pipes bursting.

All of these are hazards that can potentially prove costly, if not fatal to the people in the area. Engineers are all too aware of these subsurface hazards and therefore use these GPR systems to prevent any mishaps, both small and large. In fact, GPR systems are used in transportation engineering (bridge, road, highway), structural engineering (void, structures, other engineering applications), geotechnical and mining (bedrock, watertables, fractures), and utility mapping and detection.

How It All Works

The whole point of non-destructive concrete testing is to find out what is below the surface without disturbing the surface and the utilities lurking beneath it. Radar allows workers to "see" what's below the surface in terms of cables, wires, conduit, etc., which then enables them to drill without interference. These GPR systems are also a cheaper alternative to traditional X-rays that can cost a great deal of money.

When passed across inspection areas, the GPR antenna emits radio pulses that are reflected by embedded structures. From a series of scans, target depth and spacing can be accurately determined and laid out directly on the surface for trouble free drilling, cutting, coring and structural analysis. Scanned data can also be downloaded into a computer laptop which generates plan view images for even further analysis.

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