Building Materials Testing (other)

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Non Destructive Testing is finding increased use in the construction field beyond the testing of welds and piping, such as for quality assurance of other building materials and assemblies during new construction and for forensic investigations of new and old structures. Many of the test methods are described in ES and ASTM standards.

Certification of window installations and other fenestration products must be performed by AAMA-certified test agencies. A few other test methods, such as those concerning the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR) and infrared thermography (IR), include knowledge requirements. Most test methods do not have a knowledge requirement and there are no certification programs for NDT technicians, although ACI is considering a technician certification program within the realm of concrete NDT.

Building materials NDT include:

New Construction Quality Assurance

Water Penetration Resistance of Fenestration - AAMA 502-08

Moisture Vapor Emission Rate (MVER) - ASTM F1869

Coating Thickness Measurement - ASTM E376

Coating Pull-Off Strength Measurement - ASTM D4541

Mortar Hardness Characterization - RILEM MS-D.7

Leak Investigations

Water Penetration of Fenestration - AAMA 511-08

Deluge Testing of Masonry - Modified ASTM E1105

Flood Testing of Waterproofing Membranes - Modified ASTM D5957

Roof Moisture Survey using Infrared (IR) Thermography - ASTM C1153

Roof Moisture Survey using Electrical Capacitance (EC) Testing

Roof Moisture Survey using Nuclear Density Gauge

Corrosion Investigations

Half-Cell Potential Mapping - ASTM C1218

Concrete Resistivity Testing

Load-Carrying Capacity Parameter Investigations

Impact-Echo (IE) Thickness Testing - ASTM C1383

Rebound Hammer Compressive Strength Testing - ASTM C805

Covermeter Rebar Size, Spacing, and Depth of Cover - BS 1881-204

Other Investigations

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) investigations of voids, delaminations, conduits, rebar - ASTM D6432

Impact-Echo (IE) investigations of voids, delaminations, and honeycombing

Water Absorption Rate Testing - RILEM II.4

Roof Fastener Withdrawal Resistance Measurement - ANSI/SPRI FX-1


An important consideration in Building Material Testing is access. Depending upon the job, NDT Technicians routinely require:

  • Supported scaffolding (Pipe scaffolding)
  • Suspended scaffolding
  • Boom truck
  • Platform or Ladder
  • Equipment hoist or Rope
  • Safety harness and Rigging

in addition to normal construction safety equipment such as hard hats and safety boots.