Digital Concrete X-ray – Common Misconceptions

January 5, 2018

X-ray scanner setup on site

You are ready to inspect the concrete for your project using digital concrete x-ray. However, you may have heard or read some information about the service before. This could make you hesitant or not fully confident in this state of the art service. We want to clear up any doubts and address the most common misconceptions about digital concrete x-ray.

Digital Concrete X-ray is dangerous

This service isn’t dangerous when performed by expertly trained operators and executed in accordance with state regulations. Our operators receive extensive training that covers safety parameters, proper setup, and how to operate the digital x-ray machine. This ensures that only the safest levels of radiation are emitted. The levels emitted with proper operation are far below state-level allowances. Because radiation is involved, we perform job walks to determine safety parameter zones for trades, employees, or bystanders on site.

Digital Concrete X-ray is better than GPR

These two services have the same purpose, but they are used very differently. While digital concrete x-ray may be the best choice for your project, GPR could be better for someone else’s project. A couple of things to ask yourself before pursuing digital x-ray are:

  • Do I have access to both sides of the slab?
  • Do I need an exact picture of what lies within the concrete? Or am I okay with an analyst interpreting GPR data that is collected?
  • Is my slab less than 12” thick?
  • Can I vacate a safety parameter zone near the x-ray site for a short period of time?
  • Do I suspect the slab to be highly congested?

For highly congested areas or where there is no room for data interpretation, we do recommend digital concrete x-ray. In some cases, we have used GPR and found the area to be too congested. After this, we suggest x-ray to our clients. This is just an example, but it is not always the case. Both are dependable methods of concrete inspection.

Results delivery can take a while

This misconception is very common. With digital concrete x-ray, the truth is very far from this. This service delivers a real time image. Picture the whole process as taking a picture of a landscape. Here, we do the same, but we image the interior of the concrete instead of the landscape. With this service, it is possible to know what is inside the concrete in a very fast manner; 5-10 seconds.

Currently, Penhall Technologies offers Digital Concrete X-ray services in San Francisco-Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas. We have plans to expand into more areas soon.

Did we answer all your questions or concerns? If not, contact us at, or give us a call at 707-363-9822.


Two Penhall team members standing in front of one of Penhall's trucks

Penhall Company Has Expanded — We Now Have Mobile Sales & Service Reps!

Concrete Diamond Sawcutting

Diamond Sawcutting

Diamond Concrete Core Drilling

Core Drilling with Diamond Blades