Thermal Integrity Profiling

ACS, Inc. provides TIP (Thermal Integrity Profiler) services, a non-destructive test, to evaluate concrete quality and detect defects in drilled shafts or slurry walls.

TIP utilizes the idea that curing concrete emits a large amount of heat, and that the temperatures generated should remain relatively constant throughout the concrete structure. Sensors are embedded in the pile to record average temperatures during the curing process. This collected data is compared with the actual concrete volume poured to calculate the diameter of the pile and the cover of the reinforcing cage. An examination of the TIP results could show areas that are colder than average, indicating a neck or inclusion, or poor concrete quality, while warmer than average areas indicate a bulge in the pile.


Example of how Thermal Sensor wires are attached to rebar

The TIP procedure is composed of a few simple steps to ensure that all relevant data is collected. The first step is attaching the Thermal Sensor Cables to the pile cage before it is placed in the holes. Data collected by the sensor cables is recorded by Thermal Acquisition Ports (TAP) which are attached to the end of each cable. TAPs are normally attached after pouring is finished and recording starts immediately. The analysis  of the TIP results involves relation of the thermal data to the actual volume of concrete poured for the pile. This comparison can output plots of pile radius vs depth as well as pile cross sections in order to help accurately pinpoint the location of anomalies or voids.

ACS offers a number of different options for renting and purchasing of the equipment necessary for TIP. Sensor cables can be purchased either through ACS, or directly from the manufacturer, and ACS will be on-site to explain their installation and maintenance. For the recording of the data, clients can choose to have ACS personnel on site to attach the TAPs for each pile and to personally collect the data. Clients can also decide to attach the TAPs and forward the data themselves to ACS for analysis. Whatever the choice, ACS personnel are trained and certified to perform Thermal Integrity Profiling analysis.

Sample TIP results plot

For a PDF of the sample TIP results plot, please click here.

For ACS’s information brochure regarding TIP, please click here.