Brief overview of Pile Integrity Tests & recent updates
Release time:2019-03-13

Traditional Pile integrity tests


Static load testing


Static load testing is currently the most reliable method for testing a single pile's load capacity. It is often used to make a definite conclusion when other indirect methods of testing fail to reach a consensus. Though reliable, static load testing is expensive and inefficient. As it cannot test a large group of piles, its test results often aren't representative. Static load testing is also tricky to perform for piles with enormous load capacity due to limitations of available equipment.


Low strain pile integrity test (PIT)


Low strain pile integrity test is suitable for testing the pile integrity of concrete piles. It is useful for determining the extent and locations of defects in the pile.

High strain dynamic load test (PDA test)


High strain dynamic load tests, also called PDA tests, are suitable for inspecting the pile integrity of concrete piles. It can evaluate high levels of driving stresses and hammer energy when monitoring installation. PDA tests are especially useful when identifying cracks and defects in prefabricated piles because, on top of determining whether the defect influences the vertical load capacity of the pile, it can also determine the extent of the defect and its effect on pile integrity. High strain PDA can also be used to detect the vertical load capacity of piles.

Crosshole sonic logging method


Crosshole sonic logging is suitable for assessing the pile integrity of cast-in-place concrete piles. In CSL testing, scanning various tube combinations for the entire shaft allows evaluation of concrete quality and defect location along the length and by quadrant. CSL is reliable and accurate and can perform even more detailed inspection around defects to arrive at a more definite conclusion. However, it is challenging to perform random sampling with the CSL method.

Core drilling


Core drilling mainly measures the pile integrity, strength of concrete and characteristics of bearing stratum. It can directly analyze the condition of the pile and is one of the most common methods for pile testing and analysis. However, it is expensive and is hard to implement on long piles with a short radius.


Recent developments on pile integrity tests


TIP(Thermal Integrity Profiler)

Developed at the University of South Florida by professor Gray Mollin, the Thermal Integrity Profiler (TIP) uses the heat generated by curing cement to assess the quality of drilled shafts and bored, augered cast in place, continuous flight auger or drilled displacement piles.  TIP reveals necks or inclusions (regions that are colder than average), bulges (regions that are warmer than average), variations in concrete cover, and the shape of the shaft and cage alignment. It assesses the quality of concrete inside and outside of reinforcement cages and conforms to ASTM Standard D7949 – Standard Test Methods for Thermal Integrity Profiling of Concrete Deep Foundations.


Thermal Integrity Profiler newest data logger



Uses Thermal Wire® Cables instead of access tubes



Thermal Aggregator Units (TAG) allow for real-time data review via the Cloud


The TAG data logger is an updated version of TAP data logger. TAG can gather data collected from TAP, or directly gather data itself and then relay the data to the cloud.


Thermal Integrity Profiler
Instruction for use


Before casting concrete, install the thermal wires on to the steel reinforcement cage at intervals of 350mm (1 inch). One thermal wire will be enough for piles of shorter diameters.

Each thermal wire has to be connected to a TAP or TAG data logger, which will collect data at intervals set by the user (normally 15 minutes)

The temperature data collected during the whole concrete curing can be reviewed in real-time and uploaded to the cloud. Data collected by the TIP system is downloaded to a computer for analysis by the TIP Reporter Software. The TIP Reporter Software displays measured temperatures versus depth and mapped on cross-sections of the shaft to provide profiling data. The Thermal Integrity Profiler software helps identify areas of concern such as potential over-pour bulges, necking, or cage alignment irregularities. TIP Reporter also estimates the concrete cover along the entire length of the shaft. In addition to TIP temperature measurements, this analysis requires the total concrete volume as an additional input. The estimated effective shaft radius, reinforcement cage location and the concrete cover of the reinforcement bars can then be determined.

Advantages of installing TAG data logger for TIP:

  1. Allow for real-time data review via the Cloud

  2. Data collected can be reviewed anytime, anywhere
  3. Minimises human error 


TAG data logger is now available for purchase. For more information, please contact Earth Products China Limited.
Service hotline: 400-700-9998
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