Low-strain, non-destructive pile integrity testing

Cost-effective and efficient, pile integrity testing is a popular method of determining the condition of piles without the need for costly excavations, physically exposing the piles or disturbing the ground.

Often referred to as low-strain integrity testing or PIT testing, this non-destructive method of structural investigation sees an experienced engineer use a hand-held sensing device to record and interpret the response of the pile to the impact of a light, specially-designed hammer.

Providing data in real time, this type of testing is commonly used for…

  • Estimating pile toe depth
  • Identifying differences in concrete quality within the pile (segregating, honeycombing and so on)
  • Helping our structural investigation specialists detect inclusions, joints or cracks within the pile
  • Highlighting any differences in diameter within the length of the pile
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    Pile integrity testing

    How does pile integrity testing work?

    By hitting the pile with a lightweight hand-held hammer, an acoustic (or compression) wave is generated, propagating throughout the pile before being reflected back towards the point of impact. A cutting-edge, portable accelerometer is then connected to the pile and is used to measure the nature of the propagation and the reflected wave.

    Should a defect be detected within the pile (such as a crack, joint or void), both the wave and the propagation will be affected with an immediate issue being flagged by the accelerometer. By analysing the data collected, our engineer can calculate the depth, nature and extents of the defect, providing the client with a detailed picture of sub-surface conditions, not to mention reducing the chance of costly repairs in the future.

    Why use pile integrity testing?

    Specialists in structural investigation covering London and the wider UK, our engineers can use pile integrity testing to…

    • Examine large numbers of piles in a relatively short time frame
    • Carry out quality assurance checks on all (or a selection of) piles prior to further construction works
    • Determine the depth of piles (dependent upon ground conditions)
    • Determine the type, position and size of any defects or consistency issues


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    • Yes, to obtain a precise result the piles will need to be cut down to cut off level.

    • Whilst this depends upon site conditions, we can usually test around 30-60 piles per day.

    • Our test system is capable of distinguishing pile features and toe reflections up to depths of 25-30 pile diameters, depending on soil conditions.

    • Pile integrity testing is often referred to as PIT testing, echo testing, sonic testing, transient-dynamic testing, and shock testing.

    • Whilst pile integrity testing can provide a useful insight as to the integrity of a pile, it can't be used in conjunction with pile caps. It's also not effective within piles with a highly variable composition or for determining pile bearing capacity.

    • We're based in Watford in Hertfordshire, not far from London, but we regularly travel throughout the UK including Bedfordshire, Middlesex, Buckinghamshire and Surrey to support our clients.

    • Whilst every project is different, we charge based on a competitive day rate. Simply get in touch for a tailored quotation.

    • Many of our clients are initially unsure as to exactly what type of testing is needed to capture the information their projects require. If that sounds like you, just get in touch and a member of our team will advise on the most appropriate and cost-effective approach to take.

    • Absolutely. Whilst the majority of our works are carried out during normal working hours between Monday and Friday, we understand that this won't be possible for every client. That's why we offer an out of hours and weekend working service available upon request.

    • On the whole, our lead time for site work is between 1-2 weeks from receipt of an instruction. That said, we completely understand that some projects require a more immediate response and will always do our best to accommodate urgent requests.

    • Yes. All of our engineers are trained to work at height with PASMA and IPAF certification. We can also bring any necessary access equipment with us - such as a tower or MEWP - as necessary.

    • Yes. We have a number of highly experienced engineers who have confined space training.

    • Whilst this can vary due to nature of each individual project, we typically aim to deliver our reports within 10 working days of the site work having been completed.

    Why choose Perry Testing?

    Time served professionals

    Every one of our engineers and technicians has at least 10 years' experience in structural investigation, scanning and materials testing.

    Easy-to-read, concise reports

    Our beautifully formatted reports are delivered promptly whilst getting straight to the point, providing the data you need direct to your inbox.

    Professional, friendly staff

    We take pride in the professionalism and attitude of our staff. From first contact to reporting, we'll treat you as we'd like to be treated ourselves.

    Proven track record

    Every year, we complete hundreds of projects for a truly loyal client base, firms that return time after time, confident in the service they'll receive.

    Nationwide service

    Our teams travel the length and breadth of the UK, delivering structural investigation and testing services on a truly diverse range of sites.

    Reduced risk and costs

    Using the very latest technology and techniques, we help reduce unexpected costs, keeping your team, project and organisation safe in the process.

    "Perry Testing are more than just another surveying company, they provide modern solutions to real problems. Always a pleasure to work with them."

    — Ben Joshua, Senior Engineer, Keltbray

    "We have engaged Perry Testing on a range and number of projects to provide scanning, sampling, and testing and always found them responsive and their reports to be high quality and informative. I would highly recommend them."

    — Malcolm Brady, Director, MBP

    "I have worked with Perry Testing Limited on several projects over the past 3 or 4 years, and they have always responded to our requests at very short notice, providing a professional, expert service every time."

    — Ben White, Managing Quantity Surveyor, United Living

    RAAC concrete testing

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