Loading... Please wait...

Material Testing Blog

How To Test Concrete That’s Already In Place


Concrete strength testing is an essential part of the construction process, allowing you to ensure that your structure will stand the test of time. However, some concrete strength tests are destructive, such as the compression test on concrete cores and the pull-out test, which involves crushing and damaging concrete. Luckily, there are several testing methods that are far less destructive without sacrificing accuracy.

Maturity Testing

Maturity testing, performed with concrete cure time equipment, measures the time it takes for concrete to cure at the location of a structure. A sensor is placed in the fresh concrete and takes temperature readings at specified intervals. Time and temperature readings are then combined to create a “maturity number” that can then estimate the compressive strength of concrete at the structure’s actual location.

The biggest benefit of the ASTM C1074 maturity testing method is that the estimations it provides are much better than laboratory or even field-cured specimens. It can also help to determine which sections of concrete will have the highest and lowest strengths because of inconsistencies in temperature, which can be caused by exposure to shade or direct sunlight. Overall, this method allows you to perform non-destructive testing of concrete while also saving time and money, since the concrete can be tested on-site without the need for lab testing.

Schmidt Rebound Hammer Test

The convenience and simplicity of the rebound hammer test have made it one of the most popular forms of solid state concrete testing. Concrete test hammers measure the elastic strength of concrete or rock for surface hardness and penetration resistance. It does so by measuring the the mass of a spring driven hammer’s rebound after its impact with concrete.

While this particular concrete strength test is subjective due to factors like the presence of rebar or subsurface voids, the concrete test hammer has proven to give reliable, non-destructive measurements.

Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity (UPV) Testing

The UPV testing method helps with quality control by measuring the travel time of acoustic waves through the medium (concrete). The ultrasonic pulses can detect a host of issues within the concrete, such as cracking, voids, and delaminations, while also providing a basis for strength estimation. This test is performed using equipment such as the V-Meter Mk IV Pulse Velocity Meter Complete Set.

Like the rebound hammer, this method can be affected by the presence of rebar. Nevertheless, UPV is an exciting advance in concrete strength testing and, when combined with a rebound hammer, it can produce even more comprehensive results.

Choose Your Method

Please browse our full selection of non-destructive concrete testing equipment and accompanying accessories. If you need additional help deciding which method is right for you, send us an email or give us a call at (800) 940-1928. Certified MTP customer service associates are highly knowledgeable and ready to help you find the best method for your needs.

Concrete Testing and Equipment Glossary

There are a wide variety of terms relating to concrete testing and equipment. To help you make sense of them, Certified MTP has created this concrete testing glossary:  Air Entrainment The intentional incorporation of tiny air bubbles (typically smaller than 1 mm) into concrete by adding an air entraining agent to the initial mix. The air [...]

Read More »

How to Test Water Quality

Water is essential for the preservation of all life. Humans, animals, plants, and other living species would cease to exist without potable water. As a result, maintaining and monitoring the quality of earth’s water sources is paramount.A water quality test is critical for understanding the chemical, physical, biological, and radiological characteristics of any given source [...]

Read More »

Five Asphalt Repair Tips for Surfaces to Save Time and Money

The harsh weather can take a toll on asphalt roads, parking lots, and roofing. Rapid ground expansion and contraction due to drastic temperature changes cause cracks and potholes. Prolonged sun exposure results in fading and deterioration. Heavy rainfall can seep into tiny asphalt cracks and produce structural damage. Road salt that fights the build-up of [...]

Read More »

Which Vortex Mixer is Best for My Lab?

Vortex mixers are a necessary piece of equipment for any lab that deals with the combination of liquids, solutions, and suspensions. The technology they utilize - in which blasts of energy are delivered to the components in question in order to combine them on a cellular level - cannot be replicated by centrifuges or similar [...]

Read More »

Lab Equipment Essentials

When the average person thinks of a lab, they probably picture a room full of massive, absurdly expensive equipment whose capabilities they couldn't begin to understand. Admittedly, that might to some extent be true - for fun, point to a piece of equipment at random the next time your lab has a visitor and see [...]

Read More »

Why Are Aggregate Materials in High Demand?

Within the category of aggregate materials lies a broad number of grained materials instrumental to the modern construction process. Materials such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, recycled concrete, and so on. Though they've always been valued by builders for everything from ballast to layering, demand for aggregates has in recent years skyrocketed beyond anybody's expectations. [...]

Read More »

Soil Testing Best Practices

There are so many factors that go into crop production - weather, seed quality, pests, and other elements can all mean the difference between a bumper crop and a famine. Perhaps the most important variable, though, is the composition of the soil in which your crops will be planted. Until it’s harvested, that soil is [...]

Read More »

Concrete Corrosion Combating and Correcting

Concrete corrosion affects all structures and buildings made of concrete around the globe to a degree, with annual expenses that cost contractors billions of dollars. Concrete corrosion is usually a result of aesthetics and falling concrete where spalling occurs; ultimately resulting in public safety hazards. Even the corrosion of steel in concrete is accelerated in [...]

Read More »

Certified Thermometers for Material Testing

Not all certified thermometers for material testing are sufficiently accurate for some quality assurance tests that involve concrete construction. But they do make it possible to estimate concrete temperatures without interfering with the concrete placements.When recording the thermometric temperature of concrete and asphalt; you'll first have to decide on what kind of certified thermometer will [...]

Read More »