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Concrete Cracks: A Guide to Measurement and Monitoring Techniques

Cracks in concrete are a common occurrence, and not all cracks signify serious issues. However, distinguishing between benign and potentially problematic cracks can be challenging due to extensive literature on causes and prevention. In this blog post, you will find suggestions for appropriate methods and equipment for examining concrete cracks.

In the early stages of an investigation, it is important to prioritize fundamental steps like documenting location and dimensions, easily determining length with basic measuring tapes or other large-scale tools.

Measuring Crack Width

To establish a baseline, start by documenting the crack's location and dimensions. Various devices can be employed for the initial measurement of width.

Crack comparator cards serve as uncomplicated, pocket-sized reference tools for recording crack widths during the early stages of an assessment. These affordable and user-friendly gauges are made of clear plastic.

Crack width gauges represent an advancement from crack comparators. These robust and precise polycarbonate rules boast an extensive measurement range.

Digital calipers provide the utmost precision and offer additional flexibility by utilizing the depth rod for measuring the depth of larger cracks.

Optical comparators deliver a level of accuracy surpassing other commonly used methods during the initial investigations of concrete cracking, if necessary.

Crack Width Microscopes and Optical Comparators offer enhanced resolution and accuracy beyond commonly employed methods for the initial investigation and monitoring of concrete cracking.

Detecting Crack Depth

As cracks extend, they become harder to detect. Ultrasonic pulse velocity, using instruments like the Proceq Pundit 200, helps determine crack depth by analyzing stress waves through concrete. This method provides accurate depth estimations.

Tracking Crack Movement

Monitoring cracks over time is crucial. Basic methods, like driving nails on either side of a crack, can reveal movement but lack detailed data. Crack monitors, including corner adapters, and wireless data loggers, offer more comprehensive insights into movement, direction, and rate.

Additional Monitoring Tools

Displacement monitors: Track movement in two planes with slotted tops and graduated rules.

Strain gauge set: Precision measurements for small relative movements, ideal for shrinkage cracking.

For a detailed list of crack monitoring equipment, please visit our Concrete Crack Monitors page or contact our testing experts at Measur for personalized advice.


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