NDT Procedures in Relation to Quality Assurance and Validation of Nondestructive Testing in Civil Engineering

The field of nondestructive testing of civil structures (NDT-CE) has been continuously growing. Due to the complexity and diversity of civil constructions as well as the heterogeneity of concrete, specific standards or guidelines for the application of modern NDT-CE are still missing. The development of individual solutions is the current approach, which is just as challenging as it is common for NDT-CE. With the increasing development and commercialization of NDT-CE technology, the group of practitioners is growing. To ensure a good level of quality in the industry, it appears necessary to establish adequate means. Naturally, the performance of NDT-CE methods regarding a specific application is strongly dependent on choosing the most suitable inspection technique and applying it correctly, generally referred to as the inspection procedure in the field of NDT. There are well-defined guidelines regarding procedure documentation and handling in many fields of NDT (e.g. nuclear, aerospace or automotive) according to the high importance of procedures in assuring a successful and reliable application. For a long time, this has not always been the case with NDT-CE, which is still considered a unique discipline of NDT. Part of the reason for that might be the young development state of NDTCE, the heterogeneity of building materials like concrete, timber or masonry as a material and the diversity of civil structures. In consequence, NDT-CE procedure development is considered challenging. Among other aspects, addressed in the subcommittee on Quality Assurance (UA-QS) within the committee for NDT-CE of the German Society for Nondestructive Testing (DGZfP), part of its work aims at establishing an adequate basis for NDT-CE procedure development. While some of the highly developed approaches from other industries are taken into consideration, they need to be analyzed regarding their suitability for NDT-CE and adapted accordingly. For a procedure to be as defined as possible, it needs to contain sufficient information, such as the scope and limitations regarding material, geometry and condition of the test object, inspection parameters, calibration, data acquisition, analysis criteria as well as requirements regarding the inspection personnel. For a successful implementation in the field, it is important to define the specific procedure as precisely as possible. Despite the necessity of a great amount of information to be included, the procedure needs to be suitable for efficient field application. The UA-QS is developing a guideline for NDT-CE procedures suitable for application in this field of NDT to ensure correct and reproducible application. To demonstrate and evaluate this concept, specific examples of procedures are also produced. In particular, the UA-QS has developed a procedure for the detection and positioning of tendon ducts using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). This procedure is tested regarding the practical applicability in a round-robin on a defined type of reference test block.

References

 

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