What’s Under the Surface Matters: GPR & Concrete Scanning

Underground service locating is an essential part of any project.

New buildings should be built in such a way that they capitalise on existing utility infrastructure and avoid unnecessary capital expenditure on new or additional pipes or cables. And of course, in any project involving excavations there is always the potential for water and gas pipes or electrical and communications cables to be cut in error.

Electromagnetic frequency (EMF) utility locating is a key part of Fyfe’s surveying services, and we’re pleased to announce that we have extended our services in this area to give you greater insight into what’s under the surface.

GPR and Concrete Scanning

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is an alternate locating method that’s capable of detecting materials that EMF locating tools cannot detect, making GPR a more comprehensive analysis tool.

GPR transmitters emit short pulses of electromagnetic energy into the subsurface of the material being surveyed, be it ground, masonry or concrete. When there is a change in permittivities in the subsurface, some electromagnetic energy is reflected back to the surface and the GPR device. An antenna receives these variations in the returning signal and encodes the information in the device’s radiogram display.

Suffice it to say, reading the information on a GPR screen is a specialist task. It takes a highly skilled individual with proper training to accurately interpret the radar’s display screen and create detailed substrate mapping. Incorrect readings can lead to the kind of mistakes that hold up projects from the outset.

While the technology behind GPR is ground-breaking, the devices are not—GPR subsurface analysis is not intrusive or destructive.

Concrete scanning is also made possible by GPR technology. To find out what was embedded in concrete structures previously, companies would often rely on core samples and destructive / intrusive methods.

Smaller, specifically designed GPR devices can find utility services, live cables, beams, rebar, and more embedded in concrete structures. GPR concrete scanners can also measure the thickness of slabs and find any voids. Like their larger counterparts, these devices also relay information in real-time, meaning swift insight into the subsurface.

Fyfe’s GSSI StructureScan Mini XT device was recently put to the test in this context. We were contracted to provide concrete scanning services and coordinate cutting and drilling work for a major supermarket chain’s new entry gate system.

We put our experts and our GPR devices to work and surveyed concrete subsurfaces in five store locations across the NT to ensure work could commence safely and that the proposed gate system was viable.

Do you know what’s under the surface?

Proper subsurface surveying means fewer mistakes later on, and accordingly, less capital expenditure. It also means a safer worksite and less downtime.

If you need to know exactly what’s underneath the ground or behind the concrete, get in touch with us today. We have the tools and expertise to provide you with in-depth information that goes beyond surface level.

“I have dealt with many slab scanning companies over the years’ and I can truly say that Fyfe has been the best to date. The team is professional, reliable and ensure that the process is seamless. Behind a great company is an exceptional employee, Stuart. I cannot recommend Stuart enough as he is the man on the ground and has been fantastic to work with. 10/10!
                                                                           
Fyfe has been working with PrimeBuild as a main contractor for our national project with Coles Supermarkets for over 16 months now. Their professionalism onsite and the level of detail their reports is second to none. I would highly recommend Fyfe and we lo35-ok forward to continuing to partner on current and future projects.”

Ross Caruso, QLD/NT Coordination Manager, PrimeBuild