What is concrete scanning and coring?

Concrete scanning is used to inspect concrete slabs or columns prior to drilling or boring in renovations and new construction projects. ACS Underground Solutions' concrete scans are completed using ground penetrating radar (GPR) technology for fast and accurate inspections. Today, concrete scanning technology has evolved beyond concrete radiography. A concrete scanner called ground penetrating radar (GPR) is used to send radar waves of a certain frequency into the concrete being scanned.

The waves bounce back if they hit an anomaly, such as reinforcement bars, ducts, cables, voids, etc. This provides a clear view of the concrete subsurface. Although the radar does not automatically distinguish between different materials, the highly skilled GPRS technicians are able to recognise the patterns produced by each of these anomalies. This information is used to carefully mark the concrete, allowing the contractor to visualise exactly where it is safe to work.

A concrete scan is the step prior to the execution of a concrete demolition or any type of work. Pipes, fibre optics, rebar, tension cables and other items that may be contained within the concrete walls need to be located. A concrete scanner will provide real-time images to mark the location of these components. The concrete scanner saves time and money, and prevents unnecessary injury and damage.

By choosing to locate and map the position of post-tensioning cables, voids, rebar and electrical conduits embedded in the concrete, you can be sure that any cutting or drilling is carried out without consequence. One of the most important advantages of concrete scanning is accuracy. You can go ahead with your project knowing that the proposed layout areas for any drilling, boring or cutting are safe. On many projects, our analysts find hazards in the customer's proposed layout.

If the client had not chosen to scan, it is possible that they would have encountered many of the problems mentioned above. The process of cutting, drilling and coring must be based on the correct data from effective concrete scanning. Smartscan offers a mobile concrete cutting service and can cut cores from 30mm to 250mm up to 500mm deep. Voids are voids that are often present in concrete due to improper pouring technique or previous damage.

Concrete scanning is a non-destructive method of concrete assessment that uses ground penetrating radar, or GPR, to assess the integrity of the structure in place and locate embedded utilities prior to concrete cutting, coring, drilling, etc. GPR is an accepted and commonly used non-destructive method for imaging objects in concrete prior to cutting or drilling. New building construction and renovation projects often require cutting, drilling or breaking a concrete slab. This concrete may contain rebar, conduit, post-tensioning cables and other materials, with the potential to cause significant damage if struck.

Use GPR to easily locate rebar, conduits and any other objects embedded in the concrete and mark their location on the ground in real time while on site. A few hours spent scanning concrete can prevent countless hours of frustration when invasive work is performed in concrete. With minimal disruption and virtually no cosmetic damage, concrete coring has many useful applications. This technology has quickly become the engineering standard for concrete imaging and reduces scanning errors to less than 1%, compared to the typical 25% in the scanning industry.

Using concrete scanning is a smart way to reduce or eliminate the risk of invasive work on existing concrete. Construction projects are often delayed due to problems arising from hazards embedded in the concrete surface. However, X-ray imaging requires access to both sides of a concrete structure, making it impossible to use in many cases.

Chloe Robinson
Chloe Robinson

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