Pile Integrity Testing

Pile Integrity Testing is a low-cost quality control low-strain, non-destructive method to detect defects along the pile shaft and can be carried out on 100% of piles on a project.

Our ground investigation specialists, Strata Geotechnics, offer both sonic pulse echo and transient dynamic response methods.

The test is performed using a highly sensitive accelerometer, a special purpose PIT Pile Integrity Tester (a lightweight field computer) and a small hand-held hammer. Test data is collected and stored on the Pile Integrity Tester and the data evaluated in the field followed by further office analysis using the PIT-W software.

The Pile Dynamics Inc PIT system performs Low Strain integrity testing, also called Sonic Echo or Pulse Echo Testing. The test is suitable for auger cast-in-place (CFA) piles, bored shafts, driven concrete piles and timber piles. It detects potentially major defects such as cracks, necking, soil inclusions or voids and in some situations can determine unknown lengths of piles.

The test consists of attaching the accelerometer to the top of the test pile. The accelerometer acquires data resulting from the impact of a small hand-held hammer. If a defect is present along the shaft, its size and location can be estimated by analysing the propagation and reflection of the wave induced in the pile by the hammer impact.

Other specialist test methods are available including integrity testing using Thermal Integrity Profiling (TIP), cross-hole sonic logging, parallel seismic testing to determine pile length and pile instrumentation to measure various parameters including strain, temperature, and inclination.

What are the advantages of Pile Integrity Testing?

  • Ensuring pile quality before integration into the structure
  • Rapid and economic method of testing all piles on site
  • Potential to determine pile length (ground conditions permitting)

Common uses

  • Necking or bulging of piles – changes in the pile cross section
  • Detection of discontinuity in piles such as voids and major cracks)
  • Confirm the consistency of material within the pile – concrete quality in terms of segregation and honeycombing, evidence of soil inclusion
  • Often used to estimate Pile Depth