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Health Checkup of an RCC Structure – Need of the hour

There are a number of similarities between a Human Body and an RCC Structure, from structural elements that form the load bearing system, to working as a homogenous member (form and function). Both are engineered to handle compressive and tensile stresses, impact load and vibrations, and many more forces that try to change the equilibrium of the system.

To increase the longevity (service life) of either of them, periodic health checkups or condition survey need to be carried out. A comprehensive condition survey may it be visual inspection or field testing, provides crucial data regarding the distress / deficiency.

If case history of a patient / structure is not available, primary step is to generate one. It is critical to approach a Civil Engineering Specialist(s) with domain knowledge and experience in Condition Assessment. As each patient is different, like wise each structure is different, and the tests to be carried out may vary. It is important to know,

  1. Phase 1 – What to inspect?
  2. Phase 2 – When to inspect?
  3. Phase 3 – How to inspect?
  4. Phase 4 – What to report?
  5. Phase 5 – How to report?

Phase 3 comprises of visual inspection and field / lab testing. A holistic visual inspection is carried out to record all visible distress and other related aspects of the structure. Field / laboratory testing is narrowed down to necessary tests that provide the best data that can be converted into actionable information. Some of the common tests are,

  1. Rebound Hammer Test
  2. Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Test
  3. Cover meter Test
  4. Concrete Core Test
  5. Carbonation Test
  6. Steel Ultrasonic Thickness Test and more

Once the structure case history and current condition survey report is available, corrective actions if any can be finalized and initiated, whether maintenance or major infrequent repairs. This exercise of a holistic approach to regular health checkup leads to huge economic savings and a more sustainable conscious society.

Author:

Sharad R. Pothnis

Sr. Vice President, Marketing and Innovation

Retrofitting and Repair Consulting Services Pvt Ltd

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