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Brief Introduction Of Non-destructive Testing (ndt) Methods
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Without regular and proper bridge inspection, even sturdy and complex bridges can fail over time. Bridge inspections do not just report about minor or major deterioration but helps the asset owners to make the right decisions on what repairs to make to keep our bridges safe for the public for years to come.
Many past tragedies such as bridge collapsed, failures and loss of live have alerted the public and authorities about the importance of regular bridge inspections and unfortunately it has taken a number of disasters for us to adopt regular inspection cycles to create a bi annual inspection requirement to determine the structural well-being of the bridges and their components nationwide. Bridge inspections range from routine inspections conducted every two years to detailed inspections which can be conducted every 5 or 10 years.
Generally, conventional bridge inspection is done manually often with heavy equipment/bucket trucks parked on the bridge and even some inspections which take place at night.. The height as well as fast moving traffic on bridges poses a threat to crew's life during the inspection and annoying delays to the public. Many of the results are subjective and not very accurate. Oftentimes many fine cracks or other deteriorations can go unnoticed by the inspection crew which becomes a bigger problem in the future.
Non-destructive testing methodsare an advanced technology that utilize various non-invasive procedures like a Magnetic particle, Ultrasonic waves, Infrared waves, Radiography, Laser, Acoustic emission, vibration analysis etc. This testing method simplifies the complicated procedure of bridge inspection and reduced the time of completion.
The results obtained by the Non destructive testing methods are accurate and more reliable than the manual subjective testing typically employed today. Moreover, data can be analyzed in real time and can also be stored for later use. It can be shared with client's over internet to get their remarks and decision regarding the replacement or repairing of any component.
Here listed some non-destructive methods used during bridge inspection
Magnetic flux leakage testing
It uses one or more magnetic fields to locate surface and near-surface discontinuities. The magnetic field can be applied with a magnet or electromagnet.
Liquid Penetrating Technique
This test can be performed on a magnetic and non-magnetic surface but doesn't work well with the porous material. In this test, a low viscosity liquid is applied to the surface and it penetrates into the voids or fissures if present. When the liquid is removed, the trapped liquid in cracks or voids flows back indicating the structural defects.
Sound waves are used to locate any kind of deterioration on the surface and the ground beneath it. In this procedure, sound waves are transmitted to the surface and if the wave hits a material of different density or acoustic velocity then it will be reflected back to the recording unit for real-time analysis.
Thermal or infrared testing
This is a very popular non-destructive testing method and also used in robotics. It is used to determine the surface temperatures based on the infrared radiation emitted by an object as heat flows through, to or from that object. Special devices known as "infrared cameras" are used to collect the infrared data.
Infrastructure Preservation Corporation (IPC) has been utilizing non-destructive testing methods for a long time and has adapted the technology to robotic devices to enable the inspection of large infrastructure components. IPC has re-developed a lot of the FHWA guidelines to far exceed what is currently required for bridge inspections. IPC fully expects non-destructive testing with modern technology and robotics to replace the current methods of inspection. It may take a bit of time since the engineering firms that currently have the work will oppose anything that can take business away from them. It will be up to the various department of transportation’s nationwide to insist on spending the tax payers dollars to receive the best information possible to help protect the public.
IPC has a large range of customized inspection system for different components of the bridge and other complex infrastructure assets. To know about our products and services in detail, log on to our website www.infrastructurepc.com. You can also get a free estimate for our services by providing your details at our site. We will get back to you as soon as possible. To know more about please follow this link: https://www.infrastructurepc.com/.
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