Ground Penetrating Radar is the safest, quickest, and most accurate method that our technicians use here at Encompass Inspections for performing concrete x-ray scanning and imaging. The main benefit of this non-destructive testing method is that it is 100% safe, so a site or area does not need to be closed down like it would if another concrete x-ray method was utilized. Another advantage to using GPR for concrete scanning is that it is extremely fast and accurate. Concrete imaging results are displayed instantly on a monitor, thereby giving us the opportunity to quickly scan hundreds of square feet of area per day, saving time and money for our customers. This on-site, concrete scanning technology eliminates the need to wait for exposures and dark room development (where both the exposure or the developing can be mishandled), only to find that the area is not clear and a new trip must be made to re-investigate the same area. Additionally, the GPR unit can be transported in a simple rolling case, only needs one technician for operation and makes getting around the jobsite simple and easy.
GPR for scanning concrete requires two key pieces of equipment, the control unit and the antenna that sends and receives the radar pulses. The most common ground penetrating radar antenna we use during utility location and concrete imaging is the 1600 MHz antenna by GSSI. It is widely accepted as the best antenna in its class for performing concrete surveys and concrete x ray scans. It’s ideal on the jobsite as a PVC pipe locator and for pinpointing post tension cables, rebar, conduits, voids and other hidden items for a number of reasons, one of which is its ultra-high resolution. The antenna can reach a depth of nearly 18”, depending on the overall congestion of targets in the concrete.
How Ground Penetrating Radar Works
As it relates to the unit and operation, the antenna is hooked up to a control unit called the SIR 3000, also by GSSI. The SIR 3000 is a compact, lightweight system that actually sends electronic pulses into the concrete through the antenna and, when the antenna receives the pulses back, displays them on the screen of the control unit. The antenna receives electrical pulses sent out by the control unit and disperses them into the targeted area at a particular frequency, or “speed”. The lower the frequency, the deeper the pulses can travel. During the GPR process, the pulses bounce off of anomalies within the slab and return to the receiver, which are immediately displayed on the SIR 3000 (much like the way radar is used to track airplane movement). By utilizing these top of line pieces of equipment, Encompass Inspections ensures the job is done quickly, accurately, and safely for our customers.
Additional Non-Destructive Testing Services
Today’s innovative ground penetrating radar and concrete x ray equipment includes streamlined instruments that allow for scanning and imaging of nearly any surface you need. Encompass Inspections has a broad range of scanning, mapping and utility locating services and technologies available to our customers. Contact us so we can learn more about your next project as we’re sure to have an innovative tool and technology that will meet your needs.