America is just under 250 years old — relatively young as far as countries go. But the infrastructure and buildings that make up our civic networks are reaching old age. This spells danger and a shrinking lifespan for older structures we still use every day. Luckily, there is a way to test foundations without harming the infrastructure using electromagnetic and dispersive wave propagation (DWP). This form of testing is referred to as nondestructive testing of critical infrastructure (NDT).

On today’s FDH Tech Talks, we continue our conversation on NDT practices with Rakesh A. Khan, PE, CWI, director of nondestructive testing services for FDH. Rakesh’s experience as a geotechnical engineer shines as he explains the application and value of NDT.

Buildings aren’t the only structures in American communities nearing the end of their lifespan. Power grids, dams, and bridges also need to be reinforced and evaluated for aging. This monitoring can all be done with NDT. Catching these instabilities before they become dangerous problems is perhaps NDT’s greatest value. NDT is a preventative measure that Rakesh said, “can save DOT’s millions of dollars.” Rather than replace an entire structure, NDT helps identify where it can be reinforced so that the structure can be used for more years to come.

But more than preventing our old structures from failing, NDT helps us build strong structures that will last well into the future. Rakesh, a certified welding expert by the American Welding Society, explains that DWP identifies strong welds of steel structures so that skyscrapers are built to last.

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