Structural Inspection

Written by Amy Hall
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The Importance of Structural Inspection

Structural inspection is done to determine if repairs are needed on a structure, such as a bridge or a building, in order to ensure the safety of the public. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) allows professionals to determine where all subsurface utilities are located, and to determine if their are any voids or cracks in concrete or other non-conductive materials. In engineering and construction, what you can not see with your eyes can be potentially very dangerous.

In places like Los Angeles and Japan where earthquakes are a major public safety threat, structural engineers must constantly check to make sure buildings and highways and bridges are stable. Just by looking at the surface of a structure or the ground can not tell you what damage lurks below the surface or in a slab of concrete. Only subsurface radar can accurately determine if there are problems that need to be addressed before an accident of a large magnitude happens.

How Non-Destructive Testing Works

Fortunately for engineers who must be able to find weaknesses in structures before it's too late, there is radar imaging. This truly makes their job that much easier because this type of testing is done without having to drill, dig, core, or cut the surface of the earth or other man-made surface. An antenna is simply scanned over the targeted area of interest, which is used to pick up on embedded utilities or voids.

If a utility or void is detected, radio pulses are given off and the exact location of the utility or void is given. Data can even be downloaded onto a laptop computer for further detailed analysis. This type of structural inspection is non-invasive, efficient, and very cost-effective, which is why more and more professionals are using GPR for their testing needs.

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