Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) has become increasingly popular for scanning concrete structures for subsurface information. GPR can detect objects and map out the subsurface with great accuracy and speed. In this article, we will tackle the top questions asked about GPR scanning, providing a better understanding of the process and its benefits.
GPR is used in many areas to observe man-made and natural features. A GPR scanner can detect underground tanks, metallic and non-metallic pipes, power lines, water pipes, rebar, and post-tensioning cables inside concrete. GPR waves are equal to those of a cell phone or Wi-Fi network, while X-rays require a clearance of 50 feet before being used for safety reasons. In general, GPR scanning is the most cost-effective option and the fastest method for testing concrete.
The principle of using radio waves to determine internal soil structures has long been known. Among the earliest works in this field, the use of radio echo sounders to determine the thickness of ice sheets in Antarctica and the Arctic and to measure the thickness of glaciers was undoubtedly the most successful. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) monitoring or detection in non-glaciated areas was initiated in the early 1970s. The first achievements focused on work on permafrost soils.
GPR uses microwave energy waves ranging in frequency from 1 to 1000 MHz. It requires two principle pieces of equipment: a receiving antenna and a transmitter. The transmitter forwards electromagnetic energy into the ground and other material. GPR scanning emits a pulse into the soil and records the echoes that result from subsurface elements. Plus, it detects variation in the structure of the ground material.
If an element is “touched” by the electromagnetic impulse, the density of the element refracts, reflects, and scatters the signal. Receivers detect and record returning signals. This technology has software that translates the signals into images of the elements in the underground. This is how experts use GPR to identify utilities and structures buried in the subsurface or in man-made structures.
Any kind of disruption can affect a project’s budget. If there are problematic materials underground, it can have a massive impact on the cost. GPR can offer unexpected savings by detecting buried obstructions before the project begins.
Originally, GPR was considered a major investment, reserved for skilled operators and experts. Thanks to innovations and technological advances, modern GPR has a simple electronic design with user-friendly interfaces that do not require complex filter settings.
The sensors of GPR scanners are small and can be used in tight spaces and in any orientation on floors, walls and ceilings. GPR is applied from the exposed surface and is able to detect features in slabs on the ground. It can even identify voids in surrounding materials. Large areas can be mapped effectively by deploying GPR on a cart or vehicle-drawn platform.
GPR can be used to locate sewer, water, steam, storm, oil, gas and electrical lines. When used, GPR can help workers and utilities avoid accidental collisions, therefore improving safety on a construction site.
Professionals use GPR for concrete scanning to find several types of items. This technology is efficient when there is a huge difference between the surrounding material and electromagnetic property of the target. GPR can be used to find elements made of metal, PVC, plastic, concrete, and natural materials.
In addition, it has a wide range of possible applications, such as:
GPR scanners provide a wide range of data depending on the application and the type of equipment used. Here are some common types of data that GPR scanners can provide:
GPR is highly effective; nevertheless it does have some limitations. GPR’s effectiveness is site specific and varies from place to place. The weather, soil conditions and concrete ground are a few of the limiting factors. Plus, it is hard to get good GPR results in highly conductive materials like contaminated soils and clay.
A further limitation to performance is signal dispersion under heterogeneous conditions. Changes in soil type, such as density and water content, also play a role in this limitation because the antenna cannot penetrate properly, which causes false detection. Buried objects are also a problem because it may be difficult to detect the desired target. Finally, GPR can’t see through fine metal mesh, pan decking, and metal plates.
In conclusion, GPR for concrete scanning is a powerful tool to help identify potential problems with the integrity of a structure. It can detect issues that are impossible or difficult to find through traditional methods, from embedded objects and infrastructure damage to slab conditions and voids. Knowing the top questions asked about GPR scanners can help you decide whether this technology is right for your project. With its accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and fast results, GPR scanning is an invaluable tool when assessing any concrete structure.
Don’t wait until it’s too late – hire our GPR services today to ensure your project is timely and successful! Our experts have the experience and technology you need to get the job done right. Take advantage of our cutting-edge solutions now and secure your success in a cost-effective way.