Inspection Goes High Tech

by Paul Tarricone, Asst. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 5, Pg. 38-41

Document Type: Feature article


Many believe that rehabilitation of the existing infrastructure—not net construction—will dominate the 1990s. Therefore, accurate condition assessment is crucial, since public works agencies will have to prioritize repairs and fairly distribute funds. Nondestructive testing can complement tedious visual inspection and destructive coring and provide quick, precise readings on large areas. Thus, it's increasingly being used on an array of construction materials and all parts of the infrastructure. But progress has been slower than most would like for several reasons. The complexity of the infrastructure makes it difficult to test. Accurate NDT readings on girders and piers of a bridge may not always be possible. And buildings are encumbered with a facade, walls, and mechanical and electrical systems. The cost of equipment, data interpretation and the need for highly trained personnel also remain problematic. But NDT use should continue to grow.

Subject Headings: Infrastructure | Inspection | Infrastructure construction | Construction materials | Girder bridges | Electrical systems | Rehabilitation | Aging (material)

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