Concrete Scanning and Imaging Services

by Tendon, on Sep 15, 2021 10:54:40 AM

Concrete scanning is an important first step in any concrete work. It’s crucial to understanding what’s hidden underneath and embedded inside concrete structures. Scanning provides invaluable information that helps identify embedded components and maps out safe places to drill, core, and cut.

Want to learn more about concrete scanning and imaging? Read on.

Tendon Systems offers concrete scanning services all across the country. Our team of licensed engineers is standing by to meet the demands of your next project. Give us a call at 678-835-1100 to get started.

Applications for Concrete Scanning and Imaging

Scanning services are an essential part of concrete work. This non-destructive method of assessing concrete systems uses radar technology to map structures hidden from the naked eye.

The information the scan provides helps engineers see where embedded utilities are hiding. With this data in hand, workers can then move forward with the project without risking damage to components or the concrete structure.

You should use GPR concrete scanning services whenever you are working on an existing concrete structure. This includes:

  • Slabs
  • Floors
  • Decks
  • Sidewalks
  • Columns
  • And more

Concrete scanning before work is vital for project success and personnel safety. Images from concrete scans ensure workers won’t drill or cut into components like rebar, post-tension cables or voids. Often, post-tension and prestressed cables can produce dangerous results if a failure occurs.

Locating Rebar

Rebar is an essential component to structural integrity in concrete systems. Reinforcing steel develops tensile strength in concrete slabs and helps prevent cracking.

The as-built layout of rebar usually consists of steel bars placed over each other in a grid pattern. Without the proper scanning services, workers will not know the location of the rebar. Damaged rebar can compromise the structure of the concrete, and it can be a challenge to remedy.

Concrete scanning is the key to mapping out the location of rebar so cutting or coring can proceed without damage to the steel reinforcements. 

Scanning Concrete for Post-Tension Cables

Post-tensioning (PT) concrete is an efficient way to add tensile strength to thin or long slabs. The cables that provide the strength are under immense pressure. When cutting or coring, workers can damage one of the steel PT cables.

Damage to these cables can lead to an unsound concrete structure and a possible injury for/to personnel. Doing a proper concrete scan is critical to finding these cables and making sure both workers and the structure are safe.

Finding Prestressed Cables

In PT, contractors install tensioned cables after the concrete is poured. Prestressed concrete uses the opposite approach. Here, workers put tensioned steel cables in place before pouring concrete. Both methods add compressive and tensile strength to the structure.

As with PT, workers should avoid disturbing prestressed cables during any concrete work. Scanning services are a reliable way to find these prestressed cables to avoid them during cutting or coring.

Avoiding Void Collapses

In areas where soil composition varies, void collapses are a genuine threat. Voids and spaces form when the soil underneath concrete expands and contracts. These spaces undermine the structural integrity of the concrete.

Finding these voids is an essential part of safety when working with heavy equipment. Machinery can break through the concrete and a void and fall into the space. Concrete scanning allows operators to avoid void collapses and gives workers information on where they need to fill.

Assessing Concrete Structure

Rebar, PT and prestressed cables all add structural integrity and tensile strength to concrete systems. If embedded components suffer damage, it could compromise the concrete structure.

Concrete scanning will help contractors assess the condition of the concrete. Scans provide vital information not only about the location of embedded components. A concrete scan will help you understand exactly where the reinforcing & embeds are.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) for Concrete Scanning

Scanning technicians use ground penetrating radar (GPR) to map out concrete structures. This non-invasive technique does not damage or alter the concrete in any way.

GPR uses radar pulses to locate embedded components underneath the concrete. The method is the most common technique operators use in scanning. Scanning is an essential step in concrete demolition or any kind of concrete work in general.

When a construction team scans concrete, they can use those scan images to avoid mishaps with embedded components.

Concrete Scanning Services FAQ

Below, you will find answers to some of the most common questions about concrete scanning.

Is GPR a Safe Scanning Technique?

GPR is non-invasive and non-destructive. While there are no risks to concrete structures, some people have concerns regarding worker safety.

Because GPR uses no isotopes during image creation, there is no danger to operators or workers. GRP might sound hazardous, but in reality, the electromagnetic pulses from the scans are harmless and less dangerous than the waves emitted by a cell phone.

How Deep Does a GPR Scan Go?

Scan depth will depend on the equipment operators use and materials they are scanning. In regards to equipment choice, antenna frequency plays a significant role in both scan depth and accuracy.

Lower-frequency antennas have the advantage of reaching deeper areas but yield lower-resolution scans. Conversely, high-frequency antennas will provide higher-resolution scans but not penetrate as deeply.

Conductive materials tend to scatter electromagnetic pulses. GPR scans will offer deeper images from concrete — a fairly non-conductive material — compared to more conductive materials like steel.

How Accurate Are GPR Scans at Marking Embedded Components?

The main variable concerning accuracy is the scanning technician. Proper interpretation of data is essential to accurate concrete mapping. Your technician should use every bit of their scanning knowledge to develop the best data from scanned images.

This is why using professional concrete scanning services are crucial for any project.


World-Class Concrete Scanning Services with Tendon Systems

Accurate scanning and imaging services are integral to any project with concrete work. Tendon’s team of licensed engineers is on call to provide quality concrete scanning services for your next construction project. Reach out online today to speak with a knowledgeable representative.