Thermal Integrity Profiler (TIP)

Evaluation of the entire cross-section and the entire length of the deep foundation element measuring heat generated by curing cement to assess the quality of drilled shafts/bored piles, augered cast in place (ACIP)/continuous flight auger (CFA) or drilled displacement piles, slurry walls, barrettes, soil nails, and jet grouted columns.

  • Evaluates concrete quality inside and outside the reinforcing cage
  • Accelerates construction with tests conducted during concrete curing
  • Reveals necking or inclusions, bulges, variations in concrete cover, shape of shaft and cage alignment
  • Thermal Wire® Cables can replace access tubes
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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, and the shape of the shaft and cage alignment.

The average temperature within a concrete shaft is dependent on its diameter, 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.

TIP Software

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 Profile 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.

 

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 Deep Foundations.

Winner of:

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.

Thermal Integrity Profiler Specifications

February 2015
PDF Format

Main Unit

Physical:

  • Size: 272 X 212 X 40 mm
  • Weight: 1.5 Kg
  • Sunlight readable VGA color display for any lighting conditions, resolution 640 x 480 pixels
  • Screen size: 21.3 cm (8.4”)
  • Temperature Range: Operating: 0 to 40˚ C; Storage 20 to 65˚ C
  • Powered by Internal Battery (8 hours duration)
  • Contains 6 installed Li-Ion batteries (3.84 grams Equivalent Lithium Content (ELC))

Electronic:

  • Microprocessor: PXA270 @ 520 MHz
  • Data Storage: Built in 2 GB drive
  • USB port for easy data retrieval

Thermal Acquisition Port for Wires (TAP)

  • Size: 133 X 102 X 57 mm
  • Weight: 766 g
  • Temperature Range: -20 to 65° operating; -40 to 85°C storage
  • Contains 1 installed Li-Ion battery. or .64 grams ELC
  • Internal Battery (28-day duration)
  • Sampling frequency: user programmable, defaulted to once every 15 minutes
  • Hangs from reinforcement cage; may be bolted to cage for security
  • Water resistant

Thermal Wire® Cables

  • Sensor type: digital
  • Furnished in rolls of length starting at 6 m (20 ft.) with length increments of 1.5 m (5 ft.).
  • Sensor spacing: 305 mm
  • Sensor operating temperature: up to 105°C

Other

  • Soft carrying case
  • Full one-year warranty
  • Operates in English or Metric units
  • Technical manual included