Nondestructive Testing in Civil Engineering Requirements for the practical application and state of the art in Switzerland (Research Project AGB 2012/016 for the Federal Roads Office; FEDRO)

In the presented research project, the essentials for the most relevant field applications of NDT-CE were analyzed. This includes the assessment of the practical needs, typical inspection tasks as well as the limitations of the applied methods regarding their reliability and accuracy. Among others, the analysis of former field inspections in Switzerland was carried out in more than 40 different individual projects as well as the development of new theoretical approaches. Therefore, the research partners conducted an extensive study in collaboration with large construction companies to analyze the scope of NDT-CE methods applied in the past decades in Switzerland. The study focused on Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Ultrasonic Testing (UT) and investigated the challenges of inspecting structures in the field. As a result, the most relevant difficulties were identified depending on field conditions, such as reinforcement ratio, moisture content, tendon duct material or the size of a discontinuity of the component inspected. To predict the success of a field inspection, the methods of POD (Probability of Detection) and GUM (Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement) were used to quantify the performance and the accuracy of Radar and Ultrasound for common practical inspection tasks under different field conditions. As one result, typical penetration depth values of GPR applied on concrete have been calculated. Furthermore, the estimated success of the respective methods is provided as a function of different field conditions.



  • B. Mühlan, Y. Schiegg, A. Hasenstab, D. Algernon, S. Feistkorn: Non-destructive Testing (NDT): Requirements of Practical Application and State of the Art, FEDRO Research Project AGB 2012/016 at the request of the task group Research for Bridges, Research Report 688, November 2017
  • S. Feistkorn: Gütebewertung qualitativer Prüfaufgaben in der zerstörungsfreien Prüfung im Bauwesen am Beispiel des Impulsradars. In: Schriftenreihe des Deutschen Ausschusses für Stahlbeton, Heft 603, Beuth Verlag, Berlin, 2012, Dissertation
  • Department of Defense: MIL-HDBK-1823A Nondestructive Evaluation System Reliability Assessment. 7. April 2009
  • A. P. Berens: NDE Reliability Analysis, Reprinted from Metals Handbook Volume 17, 9th Edition: Nondestructive Evaluation and Quality Control. University of Dayton Research Institute, ASM International, 1989
  • Christina Müller, Mstislav Elaguine, Martina Scharmach, Bernhard Redmer, Uwe Ewert, Lloyd Schaefer P.- Th. Wilrich: Reliability investigation of NDT systems by modular analysis of recorded data, 8th ECNDT Proceedings - European Conference on Nondestructive Testing Barcelona. 2002
  • T. Braml, A. Taffe, S. Feistkorn, and O. Wurzer: Assessment of existing structures using probabilistic analysis methods in combination with non-destructive testing methods. In: Structural Engineering International - Journal of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE); SEI Volume 23, Number 4, November 2013, p. 376 – 385
  • Feistkorn, S. and A. Taffe: Methods to assess the quality of non-destructive testing in civil engineering using POD and GUM for static calculations of existing structures. In: Materials Testing; Volume 56, 7-8/2014, p. 611 – 616
  • Taffe, A.: Zur Validierung quantitativer zerstörungsfreier Prüfverfahren im Stahlbetonbau am Beispiel der Laufzeitmessung. In: Schriftenreihe des Deutschen Ausschusses für Stahlbeton, Heft 574, Beuth Verlag, Berlin (2008), Dissertation
  • Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement, deutsche Übersetzung: Leitfaden zur Angabe der Unsicherheit beim Messen, Beuth-Verlag, Berlin (1995)
  • Sommer, K.-D., Siebert, B.: Systematic approach to the modelling of measurements for uncertainty evaluation, in: Metrologia 43 (2006), S. 200-210
  • Taffe, A. and Ch. Gehlen: Methodology for the validation of NDT-CE methods using transit time measurement, in: Derobert, X. and O. Abraham (eds.); 7th International Symposium on Non Destructive Testing in Civil Engineering NDTCE 09, Nantes. 2010; Chap. Other Applications: 997-1002.
Usage Shares
Total Views
0 Page Views
Total Shares
0 Tweets
0 PDF Downloads
0 Facebook Shares
Total Usage