Underwater construction is one of the greatest highlights of modern engineering. It is undoubtedly very demanding and a lot of things could go wrong if things are not done in the right way.
Like all other construction projects, close and frequent inspection of underwater construction is an important aspect of long service and durability. It is particularly important to keep a closer look at underwater concrete to ensure that it remains steady and can hold both superstructure and substructure accordingly.
In the discussion that follows, we look into the importance of this inspection, how to do it and the various approaches you can carry out underwater inspection.
Reasons for inspection.
Besides the obvious need for maintenance, underwater inspection needs to be carried out for frequently for the following reasons:
Condition Analysis: Like any other project, the status of underwater concrete needs to be checked on a regular basis. Bearing in mind that there are wear and tear, it is important to keep an eye on the situation as recommended by southerndivers
Record Maintenance: It is advisable to keep the records related to underwater concrete updated. This is very important, especially where you may need to hand over the project to other handlers over time. For example, if a private company works on a project that needs to be handed over to the government, these records will be crucial to the engineers and everyone else involved.
Determining factors leading to a deterioration of the project: Understanding what leads to eventual deterioration of the concrete helps the builders to make future improvements and utilize new technologies along the way.
Various Levels of Inspection
There are various levels of inspection carried out on underwater construction.
Level I: This is somewhat a passive look at the underwater inspection. Among the reasons why you initiate this kind of inspection is to formulate data that can help draw a thorough inspection program. It also allows you to see clear and obvious deterioration on the concrete that could be a result of corrosion, marine biological growth or even overstress.
Level II: Close Level Inspection
At this level of inspection, you are able to determine and get the specific problems attacking the underwater concrete. Since there might have been the growth of marine organisms on or around the concrete, cleaning is recommended to help determine the extent of deterioration.
Leaning concrete surface prior to or during a close level underwater inspection is a need and this method is employed to detect and specify problems which are covered or hidden by marine growth. Cleaning is usually applied for critical locations of the structure because cleaning of the structure takes lots of time. However, the extent of cleaning will be determined by how much information needs to be extracted from the concrete.
Level III: Detailed and Thorough Inspection.
At this point, everything that needs to be done to get data on the underwater concrete has to be done. Inspection here involves both destructive and nondestructive activities>
Non-destructive inspection is carried out and seen to represent the part underwater. On the other hand, destructive or partial destruction kind of inspection is done on parts that deemed to represent the entire concrete. Qualified and experienced personnel come in handy at this point. The results may be subjected to laboratory testing.
Why Carry Out Underwater Concrete Inspection? Objectives.
As we have already determined, underwater concrete inspection is necessary for the collection of data that will help in the maintenance and closer observation of the concrete.
As time passes by the kind of maintenance and technique required on the concrete may change, hence the need to observe the changes occurring on the project. The inspection will, therefore, achieve the following objectives:
- Determine the kind of care needed on the concrete as time goes by.
- Extract important information regarding the progress of the concrete: At this point, you will be in a position to see problems brought about by stress or other structural challenges on the concrete.
- Determine the kind of deterioration observed on the concrete: This refers to the extent of damage, marine growth affecting the concrete, the effects of tidal range as well as water currents and any other effects brought about by natural causes.
- Inspection also helps to determine whether the concrete adheres to and conforms to the required standards and whether proper documentation has been done. These further points to the importance of data and records in this kind of construction.
Underwater construction must be taken good care of for them to give proper service for a long time. The integration of experienced and qualified personnel in the process of inspection gives more credibility and ensures that the right standards are achieved.
Ultimately, underwater concrete is exposed to greater levels of damage and hence the need to keep frequent and updated data on its progress. In addition, the information extracted is helpful in carrying out future projects.