- Non Destructive and In-situ Tests for RCC structures
- Soniscope Tests Concrete Structures
- This is how engineers test concrete structures for strength
- In-Situ Compressive Strength (design strength, and existing structures)
This type of testing is important for evaluation of both new and old structures. For new structures, the principal applications are mainly used to determine the quality of materials.
Non Destructive and In-situ Tests for RCC structures
Testing existing structures is usually related to an assessment of structural integrity. Non-destructive testing can also be used as an initial step to subsequent coring and more invasive measures such as:.
Windsor Probe - The Windsor Probe offers rapid, accurate determinations of concrete compressive strength. This method uses a hardened steel probe driven by a powder-actuated charge to penetrate the surface of concrete. When to use - The Windsor Probe is a useful option for estimating the compressive strength of concrete for general assessment of concrete quality and relative strength in different parts of a structure.
A spring-loaded hammer is released to impact against a piston in contact with the concrete surface, and a sliding indicator records the distance the hammer bounces back on a linear scale. The rebound number is then cross-referenced to an actual compressive strength value to establish relative and proportional strengths of the same concrete mix between different areas of a structure.
When to use - The Test Hammer is best used to establish a relative strength profile of a structure. Ideally, one technician can quickly canvas large areas with potential strength problems and narrow down specific areas for more rigorous testing using this instrument. Areas with lower rebound numbers can then be economically assessed with cores, penetration tests, or pulse velocity measurements while areas showing higher strengths can be bypassed.
Core samples offer the most definitive results for determining compressive strength of any of the methods listed here, but they can result in cosmetic damage and are labor-intensive to extract. When to use — Coring is often the end result of an assessment program that begins with use of Concrete Test Hammers, Windsor Probes, or other non-destructive methods. Cores are frequently considered the final word in strength determinations of hardened concrete. Concrete Maturity Testing - Concrete gains strength over time and generates heat as it cures.
Logging temperatures of in-situ concrete over time, then applying standard mathematical equations to the data allows the operator to establish a correlation with laboratory samples of known strengths. Maturity Meters collect temperatures from probes buried in the fresh concrete and log them together with the time collected. A value is calculated with this data as either equivalent age or time-temperature factor and is used to estimate compressive strength.
When to use - Maturity testing is a good option if you need a simple and reliable way of estimating early-age strength of concrete for safe removal of formwork, and to reduce delays in putting pavements and structures into service. Crack Monitors - Concrete Crack Monitors measure crack widths in concrete structures such as bridges, buildings and roads. The overlapping upper and lower plates are marked and the opening and closing of the crack can be monitored in increments. When to use — Crack monitors can be used to measure cracking periodically in the field for easy, precise determinations of structural foundation movement.
Moisture Emission Testing - Every year, millions of dollars in damages to coatings and flooring systems occur as a result of moisture migration through concrete slabs and structures. Moisture Emission Test Kits determine moisture emission over time through concrete floor slabs. A container of moisture-absorbing calcium chloride is weighed and placed under a plastic dome sealed to the concrete surface with a self-adhering gasket.
The collapse sent tonnes of concrete and steel plummeting onto the road below, resulting in eight vehicles underneath being crushed, eight injuries and six fatalities — one bridge worker and five vehicle occupants. Whilst investigations into the cause remain ongoing the National Transport Safety Board released a preliminary report into the accident in May , the incident underscores the importance of quality control in major building and civil infrastructure projects.
One important area in this regard involves having the concrete used in these projects tested against the appropriate standards and specifications. That raises questions about the types of testing involved, what should be done with the results and strategies which engineers, construction contractors and clients should adopt in relation to having their concrete tested. Primarily, each of the above sources said, concrete testing is about quality control and gaining assurance that the material being used conforms to the required standards and specifications.
To be used, concrete must meet the requirements of the National Construction Code NCC , relevant Australian standards which are referenced under the NCC and any specifications which are given by clients, architects, engineers or builders. Important Australian standards in respect of concrete include AS concrete structures and AS masonry structures.
Methods for testing concrete are outlined in AS We are testing to ensure that the materials being used on the site are adequate for the construction process and in accordance with the specification of the standards that are relevant. The only way to monitor that is to conduct testing. McDonald says testing is not so much about what could go wrong but rather gaining assurance that your road, bridge or high-rise building will perform to the standard.
By testing, you are assuring the relevant road authorities when dealing with road projects in their respective states and the people using the end product of the quality of that product. As well, he says, testing also provides asset owners with assurance about the life cycle of their asset and informing them of the appropriate maintenance schedule.
Concrete is manufactured from a range of raw materials. These include cement, supplementary cementitious materials such as fly ash and ground blast furnace slag, coarse and fine aggregate stone and sand , water and admixtures. Each of these is either derived from natural resources or is manufactured. According to van Rooyen, the material can be separated into two classes: Normal N class or Special S class.
N class concrete allows the manufacturer to determine the mix proportions to achieve standard performance requirements. These include strength and slump the two primary properties as well as other properties such as shrinkage, and the chemical and aggregate sources. Concrete becomes S class where the designer includes additional criteria in the specification. When it comes to concrete, the two main tests are the tests for compressive strength and slump tests. Compressive strength tests indicate the capacity of the concrete to support the load of the building or structure.
The slump test, meanwhile, assesses the consistency of the concrete and confirms that the correct volume of water has been added to the mix before the concrete is placed within the structure. Depending on the type of application, other types of testing may be involved.
In the case of pavements, for example, the material is often tested for flexural strength to determine how the material flexes — the ability of the concrete to bend without being broken. Since concrete is known to expand or contract, with, for example, changes in temperature, materials used in some other applications such as large slab floors, testing for shrinkage the degree to which the concrete contracts may be performed. Once testing is done, results need to be compared with the requirements of the Australian Standards and those of the specifications. When looking at test results, McDonald says, the analysis is either a pass or a fail and there is no room for interpretation.
Say, for instance, the strength specification in the design is 40 megapascals. If the result is over 40, then all well and good. If a result of 35 was achieved, this would represent a fail. In terms of common mistakes in respect to concrete testing, Franceschini points to several areas. First, there is a failure to undertake sufficient levels of testing or ordering the wrong types of tests. On occasion, he says, clients will be tempted to reduce the amount of testing in order to save on costs. Where this happens, the compliance of the material to standards and specifications cannot be assured.
Alternatively, the incorrect type of tests can be ordered and thus testing can be performed for parameters which may not be pertinent to the performance of the material. Beyond that, testing should be properly supervised and independently performed. Whilst internal testing performed by concrete suppliers is allowed, Franceschini says only independent testing assures that the testing is rigorous, correct for the application and not guided or directed.
On the flip side, he says successful strategies involve ensuring that the right type of tests are performed for the application in question and that testing is performed by an independent third party. As an example, he says shrinkage tests may not be needed on concrete which will either be submerged or used in humid environments.
The lab should also be compliant with the requirements of ISO This is an international standard for the general competencies which should be required for carrying out testing.
- Testing of Concrete in Structures: Fourth Edition.
- Non-Destructive Testing of Concrete: An Equipment Guide.
- Accidental Dominance: Part 1;
- ICE manual of Construction Materials!
McDonald says the primary issue for contractors and engineers is to understand what testing involves and how it is done. Particularly on government infrastructure projects, he says the tests required are generally stipulated by the client. Where you are doing a road project in anywhere in Australia, the requirements for testing will be specified by the relevant authority. When constructing any building or structure with concrete, being certain that the material will perform to standards and specifications is essential. Where the appropriate testing is done, contractors, engineers and clients are able to proceed with confidence that this will be the case.
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Soniscope Tests Concrete Structures
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This is how engineers test concrete structures for strength
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In-Situ Compressive Strength (design strength, and existing structures)
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