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How to save time when performing a pile integrity test.

Updated: May 31, 2022

How PET, pile integrity tester, saves time on a pile integrity test / PIT test? How you can improve your pile integrity test / PIT test technique? Read the following article to find out how to improve on your pile integrity testing with PET!

“My boss did not believe how fast I tested this 100-pile retaining wall”

He figured it would take me 2-3 minutes per pile which is over 3-5 hours, but I finished in half that time thanks to the following PET features:

I first used [Pile]-[Insert multiple piles] – it is a bulk-insert feature. When I need to test a long series of piles this feature saves me repetitive and tedious typing. This feature can be accessed from the Pile tab on the top menu. I can even define complex pile-name series.

My tip: if the series isn’t continuous (for example, 1..5, 10..15, 20..25, … .90..95) – I simply fill the whole range (1-95) – it is faster the delete untested piles later on.

The piles were names 1E to 100E and were all 11m deep (planned) – adding them took less than a minute.

I started testing them piles, knowing that I still have to produce a report today, I wanted the data I collect to be as close as possible to final so that I would need very little office time to work on them later on.

The next thing I did was to make sure the SmartTrigger is ON, when moving around the pile head, many false impacts are triggered by random accelerometer movement. The SmartTrigger looks at the trigger shape, and removes most of the false triggers, while still passing nearly all the good ones.

With SmartTrigger on I could set the trigger to a very low and sensitive level and still filter out most of the random noise. My hammer taps could now be fast and gentle and I still get more quality data in less time.

In addition, why keep irregular impacts? With Auto-Sort I can set the desired numbers of impacts to collect. Once this number is reached, the impacts are sorted and the most irregular ones are removed to the recycle bin. The remaining set of impacts is regular and consistent. The piles were quite easy to test and I have set the AutoSort to 15 impacts. This may sound like a lot, but tapping 2-3 times per second meant I could collect a repetitive set of 15 impacts in less than 30 seconds

I also switched on the [Signal options]-[Convergence] message – it pops up when the collected data is sufficient – As soon as 1) a sufficient number of impact traces have been collected and 2) adding additional impact traces has only a marginal effect on the average result. I selected 15 impacts and 5%

With all this setup – I just started and finished testing the whole wall in under 1.5 hours. A couple of pile foundations were giving me irregular results and needed more attention.

I did not bother with analysis – I just took a brief look to see that I collected good data, and went to the next pile, knowing that I have very little office time on it.

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