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Advantages of Nondestructive Testing

Nondestructive testing of a material means detecting cracks and manufacturing defects in it without causing damage to it. This type of testing method has many advantages as it enables further use of the work piece, helps in minimizing budget, and helps in maintaining statistical data for future interpretation. Nondestructive testing methods which are commonly used in construction industry are ultrasonic, magnetic-particle, liquid penetrant, radiographic, and eddy-current testing.
Destructive testing methods provide more information and are easier to interpret than nondestructive methods but they have a number of disadvantages. The main disadvantage of testing any material by destructive method is the wastage of time and money. The material which is to be tested by destructive method needs to be repaired again which is not a feasible solution for contractors if they wish to complete their project in time. Nondestructive testing (NDT) is a highly valuable technique that helps in saving both time and money and takes burden off the shoulders of contractors.
Nondestructive testing methods are valuable in detecting flaws and defects in concrete as well as determining the depth and thickness of concrete without altering or damaging its physical properties. Nondestructive inspection of concrete can be done by using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). GPR is considered the latest technology to scan concrete as it has an ability to scan quickly, easily, and effectively. GPR can inspect thousands of square feet of concrete in a day. Construction professionals prefer GPR to be used as a reliable, nondestructive concrete scanning tool prior to cutting, drilling, or coring.
GPR is comprised of two antennas which are dragged on the surface of concrete for scanning. Transmitting antenna transmits sound waves into the internal surface of concrete. The sound waves strike against the internal part of concrete and thus reflected. These reflected signals are then collected by the receiving antenna which evaluates the variation in these signals. GPR produces three-dimensional images that can be recorded on a document.
Concrete can also be tested by another nondestructive testing method named as x-ray technology. But this technique is not much reliable and safe as compared to GPR. X-ray scanning of concrete requires radiation or gamma rays which are quite unsafe for humans. The area where concrete is scanned using x-ray radiation, contractors prefer to evacuate people from the area to remain safe from its hazards. On the other hand, safe and faster results can be gained through GPR using its sound waves.
Nondestructive testing of concrete can also be carried out by other instruments like The Windsor Probe, rebound hammers, crack monitors, and concrete compression tester. But these instruments are not worthy enough in determining the rejection or acceptance of concrete as the readings given by these instruments are not absolute.
Nondestructive testing of cracks within concrete can be done by using crack monitor. Crack monitor is a simple and easy-to-use nondestructive testing device which can detect and record movements of crack in concrete. This device is installed on concrete and the results are gathered on a Crack Progress Chart.

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