Publication Abstract

DFI-PFSF Piled Foundations & Ground Improvement Technology for the Modern Building and Infrastructure Sector, (DFI and PFSF)

ShaftCam: A Practical and Cost Effective Solution to Drilled/bored Pile Hole Inspection
Swamy Avasarala and Santosh Mummaneni and Dr. Sastry Putcha

Inspection of bored pile hole bottom prior to placement of concrete is one of the most crucial element of foundation design and construction, especially for end bearing piles. Pile hole bottoms that are not cleaned well for sediments could potentially result in settlement. Although many projects have specifications in-place for drilled pile hole inspection, they are rarely implemented as the current available tools are either unsafe or cumbersome and costly, thus making it very unattractive for owners and contractors. Further, sometimes the postconstruction nondestructive quality control testing such as PIT or sonic logging on piles resulted in unanswered questions related to soft bottom. This generates costly disputes with additional testing including concrete coring and possible repairs. Currently, there are several bored pile bottom inspection devices in USA, namely, SID, DID, and SQUID which can either provide video and photo documentation or measure sediments. "ShaftCam", a patented advanced Digital Borescope, was invented to address the issues related to pile hole bottom inspection with its ability to measure sediments as well as photo and video documentation. Shaftcam device consists of 8-inch diameter bell with a camera, led lights, air hose connection and penetrometer with digital measurement that are connected to a control power box and laptop through a cable. The bell is fitted with a round clear open fiberglass skirt to form an open chamber. A simple motorized winch frame allows the user to lower the ShaftCam equipment gently to the bottom of the shaft at the desired location. Once the bell with camera is lowered to the bottom of the hole, air is pumped into the clear chamber to displace the water/slurry/polymer and get a clear view of the hole bottom to record the conditions and measure the sediment thickness and resistance. The skirt can also be enclosed and lowered to the desired location to allow for inspection of shaft walls. ShaftCam weighs less than 15 lbs. (6.8 kgs) in water and allows for inspection of the hole by one person in less than 30 minutes. Use of ShaftCam has saved significant time and money and thus allowed owners and contractors to readily accept and implement the quality control measures in many projects in USA over past few years.

 article #2616; publication #1032 (IC-2017)