Testing Concrete Structures in Hong Kong
There is no doubt about it that the level of skills, from construction to architectural and design, leveraged to create today’s developments is astounding. Many concrete structures in Hong Kong are a fine example of this building talent. This is due to the sheer volume of development, as well as the need to protect buildings and people from Hong Kong’s weather and climate conditions.
With many high-rise mixed-use projects as well as residential condominiums with podium facilities constructed in Hong Kong, canopies are being built more than ever. They are sometimes added as decorative pieces, or to denote a main entrance or lobby area.
Made out of reinforced concrete, the issues that can arise with canopies mirror those that can occur in any structure made from these versatile materials. The good news is that this has also resulted in a great many different tests to ensure that maintenance is carried out, not to mention pre-construction testing on developments as a whole. Testing can also look at whether repairs need to be upgraded, keeping a check on any maintenance work that has already been carried out. Some of these tests are not destructive at all, meaning that they do not impact the integrity of the materials and structure.
An example of this is a visual inspection, which is often the first port-of-call and can detect cracks and/or spalling such as concrete breaking away, as well as corroded reinforcements that have been exposed as a result of slabs of concrete falling off. Other tests include infrared thermography surveys, crack mapping surveys, microwave moisture testing, and a rebound hammer test.
Other tests include a hammer tapping test as well as a covermeter survey, or perhaps an open up survey, all of which are well-established for detecting problems regarding concrete quality. Carbonation, often created by chloride, can be a real challenge to the state of concrete and testing needs to be carried out to determine the chloride content as well as the depth of carbonation. Concrete compressive strength is yet another important test, providing a calculation of safety factors using specialist applications. More in-depth investigations may involve detecting water seepage, tensile testing of reinforcements, pull off testing and a corrosion survey by the half-cell method.