The Thermal Integrity Profiler (TIP) uses the heat generated by curing cement to assess the quality of drilled shafts
and of bored, augered cast in place, continuous flight auger or drilled displacement piles. It may also be used for
quality control and shape evaluation of jet grouting, slurry walls and diaphragm walls. TIP evaluates the entire
cross-section and the entire length of the foundation. Results are available shortly after shaft installation is
concluded: TIP reveals necks or inclusions (regions that are colder than average), bulges (regions that are warmer
than average), variations in concrete cover, shape of the shaft and cage alignment.
The average temperature within a concrete shaft is dependent on its diameter, on the concrete mix design and on
the time of measurement relative to concrete casting. Measured temperatures at the reinforcement cage vary
with the distance to the center of the shaft and with the concrete cover.
The TIP starter system includes the TIP Main Unit and 12 Thermal Acquisition Ports (TAPs), along with the TIP Reporter Software. THERMAL WIRE cables (smart sensing cables fitted with uniformly spaced digital temperature sensors) are ordered separately depending on the length and quantity needed. The cables are tied to the rebar cage and cast into the shaft.
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. A straightforward examination of these graphical representations is often sufficient to indicate a shaft with no integrity issues or one with defects.
The Thermal Profiling Method was developed at the University of South Florida and originally implemented by
Foundation and Geotechnical Engineering LLC (FGE). Research and development are a joint effort of
FGE and PDI. The TIP conforms to ASTM Standard D7949 - Standard Test Methods for Thermal Integrity Profiling of Concrete
1Cotton, D., Ference, M., Piscsalko, G., and Rausche, F., (2010) "Pile Sensing Device and Method of Making and Using the Same" US Patent 8,382,369.
2Mullins, A. G. and Kranc, S. C., (2004), "Method for Testing the Integrity of Concrete Shafts," US Patent 6,783,273.