In-Situ Testing: Instruments for Monitoring and Data Acquisition

    • 24 Feb 2021
      • News,

We had the opportunity, in one of our earlier discussions, to emphasize how the Italian infrastructure heritage is in a rather alarming state of preservation due to the lack of maintenance and monitoring activities carried out. This applies to both historical and artistic buildings, as well as newly constructed ones following the significant building boom of the 1960s.

The monitoring of structures is of great importance, both for the technical community and the general public, as degradation and poor preservation directly translate into low levels of safety for society as a whole.

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The topic is so crucial that within the regulatory framework of the Technical Standards for Construction, clear criteria have been established for safety evaluation, design, construction, and testing of existing structures. These criteria cannot disregard what is referred to as “Knowledge of the Structure.”

In situ Testing and Levels of Knowledge

The regulatory framework also defines Levels of Knowledge of the Structure, denoted as LC1, LC2, and LC3, representing different levels of knowledge regarding:

  • Geometry;
  • Structural details;
  • Material properties.

LC1 indicates a limited level of knowledge, where the geometry is known from construction drawings, but there is insufficient information about construction details and material properties.
LC2 indicates an adequate level of knowledge, where the geometry, construction details, and material properties are known and available in sufficient quantity.
LC3 indicates an accurate level of knowledge, where comprehensive information on geometry, construction details, and material properties is available.

The standard establishes analysis methods (static or dynamic) consistent with the level of knowledge for safety verification. It also states that to achieve the desired level of knowledge, one must work based on the available material, perform in situ tests, and conduct structural investigations according to the structure’s typology.

In situ Testing: Classification

In situ tests are classified as:

  • Limited in situ tests: complement the information on material properties available from construction drawings and original test certificates;
  • Extended in situ tests: provide information that is not available from construction drawings and original test certificates;
  • Comprehensive in situ tests: serve to obtain all the necessary information to achieve an accurate level of knowledge of the structure (LC3).

In situ Testing and Non-Destructive Testing

The regulatory framework allows for the integration of non-destructive testing to obtain information that is not available but necessary to reach the desired level of structural knowledge, as well as to assess the state of preservation and safety level.

In situ Testing and Data Acquisition/Monitoring Systems

Through the execution of non-destructive in situ tests tailored to the type of construction and material under examination (concrete, masonry, rock, wood, etc.), it is possible to acquire data on the mechanical, physical, and chemical characteristics of the structural materials. This enables the evaluation of the structure’s state of preservation.

Technological innovation provides professionals working in the field of non-destructive testing with all the necessary instrumentation to operate efficiently and reliably, acquiring and collecting all the relevant information for structural diagnosis.

For years, Novatest has been supporting professionals in this field by providing them with the necessary tools to achieve high-performance goals. For this reason, we would like to recommend three useful instruments for monitoring and data acquisition during your in situ tests.

In situ Testing: NOVALog Data Logger

The NOVALog data logger by Novatest is a multiparameter data acquisition unit for in situ testing with up to 18 channels. It is characterized by its compact size and versatility.

Would you like to learn more about the technical specifications and benefits of using NOVALog? Request a free consultation now!

In this article, we have delved into the topic of monitoring structures and the crucial role that non-destructive in situ testing plays in the structural diagnosis of civil assets.

If you’re interested in learning more about the tools and services that Novatest provides for professionals in the field of non-destructive testing, feel free to contact us through the form.

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