On projects that involve drilling or concrete cutting steps must be taken by construction workers. In order to discover what lies inside concrete before starting their work, they have certain options. Generally, the two most common choices are either concrete x-ray or Ground penetration radar (GPR). There are pros and cons to each, and understanding these is critical when it comes to deciding on how to proceed.
Concrete X-ray or radiography uses a radioactive source to make images on film. In order for this process to be successful, you need access to both sides of a slab. One for the imaging film on one side and the emitting source on the opposite side. Ground-Penetrating Radar, on the other hand, uses electromagnetic energy to penetrate concrete and return reflected signals that reveal the subsurface layout of a structure. GPR is definitely safer than X-ray, since it emits far less radiation. This technology emits about 1/100th the radiation level of an average cell phone.
You can form your own conclusion, but we feel GPR is the most efficient, cost-effective, and non-destructive concrete testing choice. It is also highly accurate, however in certain circumstances X-ray may be recommended for a more accurate picture. GPR is far more mobile and affordable, and offers access to real time results almost immediately. X-ray film, on the other hand, requires a more labor intensive set up and the film must often be developed off site. GPR offers a nearly unlimited coverage area and makes for high resolution imaging. We hope this helps you decide which method is best for your particular application. We can refer you to an X-ray company that we work with if X-ray is what you’re looking for.