Several years ago, a student and some professors at NC State were discussing current methods of bridge testing, and they realized that, scientifically, there was a much better way to see if piles were damaged. FDH Infrastructure Services was born, and from the beginning, prided itself on finding creative and top of the line solutions for nondestructive testing of critical infrastructure.

On this episode of FDH Tech Talks, we’re joined by Laura Guy, director of infrastructure and nondestructive testing at FDH, who breaks down the company’s proprietary form of dispersive wave propagation for NDT, and how their technology improves on the general industry standard.

NDT can pick up anomalies in infrastructure foundation including voids, cracks, changes in density, or any other small abnormal detections. This is a much better alternative to destructive testing, which can tear up the slab or foundation to assess the situation (a costly and time-consuming burden). “It does negatively impact the foundation, and nobody wants to do damage to a foundation that is already being questioned,” Guy said.

Generally, this testing is done with waves, but sometimes they can miss smaller cracks, or are unable to determine the true size of voids without further testing. FDH uses dispersive wave propagation, which allows the waves to actually disperse, detect smaller faults in the structures, and get an idea of what’s going on around the accelerometers that are placed on the foundation. It can really determine the length or depth of a foundation and has even been used to encourage more reverse engineering and detailed data for the beginnings of projects.

Listen to Guy explain how dispersive wave propagation is being used in the telecom and transportation industries, particularly in cell phone towers and bridges, and where the future and refinement of this testing method lies.

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