Beyond the Surface: 4 Things You May Find In Your Concrete Structures with Concrete Scanning

On the surface, concrete can be deceptive. It may look sturdy, with no cracks or signs of wear on the outside, but the inside may be a different case. Before you drill or cut into a slab of concrete, it is important to know what is inside to ensure safety and effectiveness.

1. Cables and Pipes

Two of the most common things you will encounter inside a concrete structure are cables and pipes. There may be no sign of these outside and without a prior concrete survey, there may be no record of their existence. Drilling into a concrete structure with unknown cables or pipes within can be extremely dangerous and cause further damages. For this reason, Concrete Scanning is often an essential step when completing any projects involving any concrete structures.

2. Moisture

Another internal damage could be moisture. Water seepage and moisture within a concrete structure are common issues that can make the completion of new projects difficult. By using top of the line concrete surveying equipment to assess the composition of your concrete structure, UDS Civils is able to aid in the seamless completion of your next project.

3. Utilities

Another internal damage could be moisture. Water seepage and moisture within a concrete structure are common issues that can make the completion of new projects difficult. By using top of the line concrete surveying equipment to assess the composition of your concrete structure, UDS Civils is able to aid in the seamless completion of your next project.

4. Post Tensioned Tendons and Cables

Due to the highly stressed nature of tendons, it is important that they are not damaged, either by mechanical means or corrosion. For safety reasons, it is of paramount importance that tendons are accurately located prior to any cutting, coring or drilling works being undertaken in the immediate vicinity.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) can find the location and depth of tendons or tendon ducts in concrete. The survey technique is non- destructive and non invasive. GPR can also determine the tendon depth, enabling the hyperbolic geometry of the duct along the length of the element to be plotted.

Detection of tendon ducts in post-tensioned concrete can be very difficult. This is mainly due to:

  • The depth of the tendon
  • Often located behind at least one layer of reinforcement
  • Close proximity of reinforcing steel

This means that cover meters and the Ferroscan are usually not suitable for locating tendon ducts. GPR however offers deeper penetration and better resolution. By selective scanning and processing of GPR data to produce depth slices and cross-sectioned views, it is often possible to identify, locate and map tendon ducts.

Though there may be no outside indicators on your concrete structure, cables and pipes, moisture, utilities, and post tensioned tendons and cables can be hidden within. Take the time to complete a comprehensive Concrete Scan to gain valuable insight prior to beginning a project or drilling a concrete area.

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