Imaging a safer future - No 20 - February 2020
NEXCO provides an image-based comprehensive crack map for concrete bridge structures. One of the most frequently asked questions from our clients is "Can you tell us which crack is the through crack from the deck to the underside?". The answer follows in the paragraphs below:
In our continual efforts to develop new and useful products for clients, our technical team works on ways to improve data acquisition and data representation. This latest development benefits clients who need to review structures with multiple structural layers, like a bridge superstructure. Using this tool, clients can turn layers of superimposed deficiency maps on, off, or even taper opacity to see how deficiencies stack up on top of each other. Cracking patterns in stacked structural layers can be compared to detect through-cracking, notice similarities in patterns, and trace the paths of water infiltration between layers.
As a result of recent applications, our team of analysts discovered wide cracks in bridge deck tops that directly correlated with efflorescence cracks in the ceiling of box beams below. Likewise, the team found cracks in the bottom surface of box beams that continued into the soffit below. In these instances, the team marked the presence of efflorescence and active leakage (if visible or detected by infrared thermography).
The technology not only provides a powerful solution for bridges, but in buildings as well. The study of interior versus exterior building envelopes could uncover and map the state of leakage. It can also help determine the severity/depth of cracks spanning certain layers. For more information about our layered deliverable format or to see it in action, contact us below!
A daunting yet vital task, proper risk assessment can act as the fulcrum between project success and failure. In the lifetime of a structure, its construction, periodic inspection, maintenance, and renovation, accurate forecasting ensures the safety of end-users and lengthens the usable life of structures. But as many experienced project leaders know, there is no such thing as a foolproof risk forecast.
Two recent articles published by the American Society of Civil Engineers bring this topic to the forefront. Catherine Cardno, PhD, Editor-in-Chief Laurie Shuster, Managing Editor Margaret Mitchell discussed how there is a growing need for adaptation and a competency for "working in gray zones" when answers about risk are not in plain "black and white". They suggested that, on one hand, there is a need to accept the reality that not all variables can be predicted with precision. On the other hand, there must be every effort taken to close the gap between guesswork and carefully premeditated prediction.
To bring this imperfect science closer to a practiced and manageable feat, NEXCO specializes in capturing the overall "snapshot" conditions of structures. Scanning procedures can help to fill these knowledge gaps quickly. As visual and infrared applications do not require direct access to a structure and they capture large surface areas at once, we believe they can be the cornerstone to improving risk assessments, whether they be implemented during early or mature project phases. Rapid NDE scanning also serves as a powerful option for post-disaster evaluations, because the total area of newly developed deficiencies can be quantified and compared to previous inspection reports. The detection and comparison of damages pre and post disaster can be a powerful tool for rehabilitation, thwarting cost estimation mishaps upfront.
To review our previous newsletters, conference presentations and technology, please follow the links below: