Pile Testing

The key to a steadfast structure is a strong foundation. With large, vertical structures or in situations where the shallow soil is unstable, deep foundations are necessary to anchor the load. Piles are the long, slender, often steel or reinforced concrete columns that penetrate the ground. These invisible components transfer the load of vertical structures to a deeper soil level with higher bearing capacity and suitable settlement characteristics. They can be classified by their basic design function (end-bearing, friction) or by their method of construction (driven, bored).

However, as they are unseen, piles can potentially hide defects and flaws that threaten structural integrity. Pile tests are essential to determine the bearing capacity and integrity of foundations before building begins and are an effective and reliable method to identify any anomalies within the piles.

Enduring experience

Founded in 1990, RSK company Non Destructive Testing Services has more than 30 years’ experience and has worked closely with the UK’s leading piling companies. Unlike our competitors, we have the resources to provide consultancy and contracting solutions for our clients. With more engineers, more equipment and a greater depth of expertise, RSK can develop and execute an efficient pile testing plan to ensure we achieve structural integrity.

RSK provides three main pile testing services for all pile types: pile integrity testing, dynamic load testing and static load testing, in addition to other background monitoring and reporting services.

Efficiency and accuracy

When it comes to pile testing, our clients’ main priorities are timing and accuracy. Adhering to a project programme can be difficult when unforeseen problems arise due to poor weather, compliance issues or waiting for test results. We maintain quality assurance by remaining flexible, as we operate our own O-licensed fleet of specialist HGVs; adhering to industry specifications; and, although we cannot control the weather, we can provide clients with a live feed of ongoing static load tests via our industry-leading Titan units.

Tests we provide

Static load tests assess the performance of a test pile when subjected to a predetermined load. RSK can provide both compression and tension pile load testing using a specialist-designed system in accordance with the current ICE specification.

Dynamic load tests are performed by striking the pile with a hammer and observing the resulting forces and motions recorded near the pile head. The static behaviour of the test pile can then be predicted from the resulting dynamic measurements. RSK employs the recognised and proven SIMBAT system of pile dynamic testing.

RSK specialises in pile integrity testing of continuous flight auger (CFA) piles, large bore and minipile foundations. We cover all UK sites with a rapid and reliable testing service using sonic echo and transient dynamic response methods for fast, economic and accurate results.

Combining flexibility with quality

Our clients expect their projects to be done on time and accurately. RSK has an enduring track record of reliability and maintaining good communication and working relationships throughout a project, demonstrated by our longstanding relationships with our core piling contractor customer base. We adhere to ICE specifications and only operate certified equipment to ensure that our clients get accurate results. An essential element of our business is maintaining health and safety excellence; we believe that a good health and safety record goes hand in hand with high productivity and safety standards.

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Our Expertise

  • Pile integrity testing

    RSK specialises in testing CFA, large bore and minipile foundations. We cover all UK sites with a fast and reliable testing service. We provide analysis and assessment to identify potential discontinuities such as cracks, voids or changes in the cross-sectional area. After a site visit, we produce a full report detailing each pile test.

  • Dynamic load testing

    Dynamic load testing is carried out by striking the pile with a hammer and observing the resulting forces. RSK uses the recognised and proven SIMBAT system.

  • Static load testing

    RSK conducts compression and tension pile load testing using a specialist designed system in accordance with the current ICE specification. We can perform both reaction frame and Kentledge static load tests depending on the project scope.

  • TITAN 650

    Titan 650 is a remote-controlled, automated, programmable load applicator for static load tests. The system enables the test controller to apply a schedule of load steps and to maintain the load for any duration.

  • Vibration monitoring

    RSK detects, monitors and mitigates the effects of vibration activity on sensitive receivers such as businesses, schools, hospitals and homeowners that are caused by construction, blasting traffic and other industrial work.