FTC will provide experienced staff to attend to your project needs in a highly responsive manner. We provide services from project conception, design, construction and long-term monitoring. Some of our key services include:

● Cross-hole sonic logging (CSL) of drilled shafts
● Thermal Integrity Profiling (T.I.P) testing of drilled shafts and cast-in-place piles
● Dynamic pile testing
● Camera observation
● Vibration monitoring
● Construction observation
● Geotechnical investigation services
● Pre-construction phase pile foundation constructability review
● Design and installation of geotechnical instrumentation systems
● Forensic engineering
● Expert witness/litigation support

Sonar Caliper Testing

Sonar Caliper testing is performed for drilled shaft and rock socket excavations prior to placement of the shaft reinforcing steel and concrete. The purpose of the test is to access overall alignment of the excavation, alignment of the casing, compute anticipated concrete volume, assess the potential for side wall cavities in the rock socket and overall bottom of excavation cleanliness.

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Pre-construction Phase Pile Foundation Constructability Review

The implementation of Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) over the last several years by Federal and State Agencies has led to some challenges in pile design and specifying pile installation requirements as FTC has witnessed on numerous projects over the last few years. As a result, we have witnessed plan documents issued for construction that have had major issues such as incorrect geotechnical resistance factors for piling (this phi factor should be based upon the type of pile verification method to be used in accordance with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)).

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Geotechnical Investigation Services

FTC often provides exploratory drilling services for drilled shaft and driven piling projects through our partnership with highly qualified drilling firms as part the verification of construction phase installation requirements.

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High Strain Dynamic Pile Testing and SPT Hammer Calibration

High strain dynamic pile testing is performed during pile installation to provide an assessment of pile capacity and integrity.  The test is performed by attaching strain gages and accelerometers to the top of the pile.

Signals from the gages are recorded by a Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA).  FTC utilizes a wireless communication system between the pile mounted gages and the PDA computer thereby eliminating the need for a main connecting cable.  The wireless system allows for faster, more efficient testing and minimizes the chance for any testing delay associated with cable handling.

It is also possible to efficiently perform PDA tests for several pile each day with one operator.  All pile types including concrete, steel pipe pile or steel H-pile, auger cast pile or even drilled shafts can be tested with the PDA equipment.

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SPT Hammer Calibration

Provide your clients with accurate blow count data for use in geotechnical design.  By having a current SPT hammer calibration (performed on an annual basis) your firm can be better positioned to provide geotechnical investigation drilling on federally funded bridge, levee or other projects.

SPT hammer calibration is performed using a specially instrumented drill rod connected to accelerometers and a data processor (typically the same unit that is used for PDA data collection). FTC is able to perform SPT hammer calibration during normal production drilling and sampling without delaying your drill crews and avoiding the need to “drill just to calibrate”. 

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Cross-hole Sonic Logging

Experience counts when providing important foundation testing services such as cross-hole sonic logging where qualitative judgement must often be applied.  Our staff have performed testing on well over 15,000 drilled shafts.  As a result, our highly experienced staff are able to guide our clients though the entire drilled shaft testing and acceptance process that we have seen utilized by various Departments of Transportation on hundreds of projects throughout the United States.

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Thermal Integrity Profiling (T.I.P. Testing)

Thermal integrity profiling is a non-destructive test method that that records temperature measurements within a freshly cast concrete drilled shaft or pile and utilizes an analysis of the temperature distribution within the foundation that occurs through the heat of hydration by the curing cement in the concrete.

FTC considers this test to be supplementary to the more established and technically superior method of testing drilled shafts and piles using Cross-hole sonic logging procedures.

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Down-hole Video Camera Observation

Many drilled shaft specifications now require the use of down-hole color video camera observation following completion of the drilled shaft excavation. 

The real-time images provided can confirm important items such as rock bearing material type and quality, amount of any rock over-break along the side of the rock socket, quality of the seating for permanent casing and shaft bottom cleanliness prior to concrete placement.

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Sonic Echo/Impulse Response (SE/IR) Integrity Testing

Testing Unknown Foundations

Sometimes it is important to be able to test a foundation after it has been constructed even if such testing had not been originally planned.  Such cases often occur for the re-use of existing foundations or for evaluating a foundation for a transmission line tower, wind turbine or cellular communications tower.

FTC utilizes a form of non-destructive testing (low strain dynamic testing) called sonic echo/impulse response (SE/IR).  This test involves the use of an instrumented hammer and special receivers (an accelerometer or geophone) mounted to the top or side of the drilled shaft or pile. 

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Vibration Monitoring

Many construction activities associated with building and infrastructure construction involve vibration inducing activities (pile driving, bridge demolition and heavy equipment traffic).  Often through a combination of proactive contractors and concerned project owners, vibration monitoring (sometimes along with pre- and post-construction condition surveys) is needed to be performed in support of the project construction.

A well designed vibration monitoring program often includes a physical survey of the cosmetic condition of surrounding structures such as buildings, bridges and utilities.

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