PDI's SQUID SHAPEs the future

SHAPE has been developed by Pile Dynamics, Inc. to quickly and easily provide quantitative data that can improve the quality of drilled shafts.

 Pile Dynamics, Inc. Shaft Area Profile Evaluator for shaft profile, radius, and verticality

Pile Dynamics, Inc. Shaft Area Profile Evaluator for shaft profile, radius, and verticality

As the use of drilled foundations continues to increase, innovative manufacturers look for ways to optimise these foundation elements. Coming from a strong background in deep foundations, Pile Dynamics, Inc. (PDI) can offer the competency and expertise to develop solutions for testing drilled shafts.

The R&D team at PDI recognise areas of concern in drilled shaft practice that can impact the performance. The team determined several quality control methods that could be greatly improved.

One of the desired improvements in shaft quality control was the verticality measurement of the excavation. With no testing method or data to reassure the verticality, the performance of the structure could be compromised. Looking for a way to collect and assess data from the excavation, PDI created the Shaft Area Profile Evaluator (SHAPE). This QA technology offers measured views of the shaft, with a 3-dimensional visualisation.

The SHAPE is lowered into the slurry-filled shaft via attachment to the Kelly bar, identifying irregularities that affect shaft performance. Built with ultrasonic scanning capabilities, the SHAPE scans up to eight channels simultaneously, while advancing in the excavation at a rate of one-foot per second. The built-in wireless capability allows the SHAPE data to be quickly sent to the field tablet immediately upon exiting the excavation.

The additional improvement needed for better quality control of drilled shaft construction was the cleanliness at the base of the shaft. If the base of the drilled shaft is not properly cleaned, the shaft may not perform as designed.

Quantitatively verifying the condition at the base of a drilled shaft can be challenging, but the PDI design team created the Shaft Quantitative Inspection Device, also known as SQUID, to help verify these measurements.

To improve the inspection method, SQUID takes accurate measurements of force versus displacement at the base of the shaft, providing an objective, quantitative assessment. The SQUID is lowered into the excavation via attachment to the Kelly bar and provides an accurate measurement of the debris at the base as well as resistance to penetration in the bearing material.

The results of the test can be sent wirelessly from the drilled location to the SQUID tablet, which allows for quick and effective testing.

These innovations, developed by Pile Dynamics, Inc. offer quantitative data that can improve the quality of drilled shafts in an efficient manner. With wired and wireless options, the SQUID and the SHAPE are versatile systems with quality results.

"We felt the market needed a modern and rugged device where we eliminate common points of failure such as electronic cables running from the surface to the device to provide increased accuracy and performance," stated George Piscsalko, president of PDI. "Both SHAPE and SQUID's wireless capabilities allow shaft integrity discussions to happen in real-time, at the jobsite or remotely via PDI's SiteLink technology, saving time and money."

SHAPE and SQUID are the latest additions to Pile Dynamics' extensive line of quality assurance and quality control systems for the deep foundations industry.

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