Analysis of Cover Meter Data


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Title: Analysis of Cover Meter Data

Author(s): Donald E. Dixon

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 101


Appears on pages(s): 47-64

Keywords: computer programs; cover; pachometers; regression analysis; reinforced concretes; reinforcing steels; statistical analysis.

Date: 9/1/1987

The cover meter, commonly known as the pachometer, is a useful instrument in locating steel reinforcing bars within concrete members. The instrument works on the principle that steel bars present in the developed magnetic flux field will cause a meter deflection. The larger the steel bar or the closer it is to the probe, the larger the meter deflection. Many times the cover meter is used to locate steel to minimize the chances of cutting the reinforcing during coring operations. At other times, it is desirable to learn the placement of the bars for structural reasons, such as times when the loading of a structure is being changed and the reinforcing placement is not known, for rehabilitation of older structures, or in times of controversy when the quality of construction is questioned. The paper analyzes data for a project in which the placement of reinforcement was questioned. A correlation was established for the cover meter for the meter reading and the measured cover. Statistical analysis of the data was used to 1) establish a regression model, 2) learn the expected accuracy of a reading, and 3) establish a meter reading that would have a specified confidence for a desired cover. Since the cover data included a range of values for reinforcing bars relatively close to the surface to three inches or more below the surface, a statistical analysis of the instrument's variability for differing bar depths was made.