10 terms you need to know to better understand concrete scanning and utility locating

September 29, 2017

concrete scanning terms

Concrete scanning and underground utility locating are a must when performing any excavating, coring, drilling on concrete or on any other surface. If you are still deciding whether or not to utilize this service, this list will help you understand our blogs and information easily.

GPR: This stands for Ground Penetrating Radar. GPR is a method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. A GPR system is made up of three main components: a control unit, an antenna, and a power supply.

Subsurface object: These are objects that the GPR system can find. For example, rebar, post tension cable, wire mesh, utility lines, among others.

Conductivity: Conductivity defines a material’s ability to conduct electricity. The differences in the conductivity of materials determines what shows on the equipment screen.

Hyperbola: When an analysts is scanning and he/she finds a buried object in the ground or concrete, it will show up as a hyperbola on the equipment’s screen.

Antenna: Component of the GPR system. The antenna captures the pulses emitted into the ground to reveal a real time image of subsurface objects found.

Electromagnetic field: Used for utility locating, an electromagnetic field occurs when a current is running through a transmitting line. This could be an electrical cable or communication line. The analyst could artificially create an electromagnetic field by using the equipment if the utility does not have an active current.

Public utility locator: 811 is a locating company that identifies all public utilities (utilities that go from the street to the meter). They are the federally designated call before you dig company that helps homeowners and professionals avoid damaging vital utilities when digging or excavating.

Private utility locator: Contrary to 811, a private utility locator will scan all underground utilities on private property. For example, a backyard or a driveway. Penhall Technologies is a private utility locator.

Utility markings: After scanning, the analyst will mark the utilities found with chalk, tape, or keel. These are utility markings and serve as a guideline for your project.

APWA color chart: Each utility marking has a designated color. This depends on what type of line the analyst is marking. This is the official color chart from the American Public Works Association.


Want to learn more about concrete scanning and underground utility locating? Review our in depth slides on LinkedIn’s Slideshare.


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