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There are several types of magnetic cover-meter equipment which are used to determine the thickness of reinforcement protector concrete. Commonly, these devices fall into nondestructive tests. Micro-cover meter, Pachometer, Profometer, NOVOTEST, and Cover Master are types of magnetic cover-meter tools.

The devices emit an electromagnetic pulse and detect the magnetic field induced in metal objects. Most cover meters consist of a unit containing the power source, amplifier and meter and a separate search unit (probe) containing the electromagnet which is coupled to the main unit by a cable. Based on the duration or intensity of the induced magnetic field, the location of embedded metal is determined.

The magnetic rebar locator plays a significant role in construction works because the information about the location of steel bars, concrete cover, and bar sizes is essential, directly or indirectly, in many field applications. It is important to note that these magnetic cover-meter devices are not applicable for certain types of bars such as Glass fiber and post-tension or pretension strand. 

Types of Magnetic Concrete Cover Meter Equipment

1. Profometer

It is portable, battery-operated equipment used for measuring the depth of cover concrete, location and size of the steel reinforcement embedded in concrete. The equipment is useful for investigating the structures where drawings are not available. The equipment consists of a data logger, diameter probe and depth probe and calibration block.

The equipment has sufficient memory to store the scanned data.  It is used for measuring concrete cover, detecting reinforcing bar, and determining bar size and direction. So, it can be used for corrosion investigation, quality control and assurance of new concrete structures, and location of rebar for penetrations or coring.

Reinforcement Cover Measurement Using Profometer
Fig. 1: Reinforcement Cover Measurement Using Profometer

2. Pachometer

Pachometer operates by producing a magnetic field and measures the reaction between the magnetic field and the embedded reinforcement. The intensity of the response is associated with the size and location of the steel bars.

The main application of pachometer is to measure the thickness of the concrete cover. So, it can be used to detect and measure protective layer over reinforcing steel bars, prestressed or post-tensioned tendons, wire mesh, and steel pipes.

Pachometer Concrete Cover Meter
Fig. 2: Pachometer Concrete Cover Meter

3. NOVOTEST

It is used to measure concrete cover using magnetic method. NOVOTEST is designed according to EN 12504-4, ASTM C597-02, ISO 1920-7:2004, IS13311, CECS 21 standards. It measures cover thickness, determines the diameter of fittings for a known protective layer.

Outstanding advantages of this cover meter device include high precision measurements of concrete cover, possessing a deep search mode, ability to compensate for the influence of parallel rods, and small size and weight

Concrete Cover Meter NOVOTEST Rebar Detector
Fig. 3: Concrete Cover Meter NOVOTEST Rebar Detector

4. Micro Cover Meter

It is easy to use and lightweight cover meter equipment that not only provides rebar location and its size but also concrete protective layer thickness. Micro cover meter is fast, provides clear indication of bar location, and automatically measures bar sizes.

Micro Cover Meter
Fig. 4: Micro Cover Meter

5. Cover Master

Cover master operates easy to use and works automatically; provides concrete cover thickness and steel bar size at the same time. This feature declines the possibility for errors substantially. Cover master yields its result quickly that saves valuable time and money. It is light and easy to handle and highly stable and accurate.

Micro Cover Meter
Fig. 5: Micro Cover Meter

Read More on Non-Destructive Tests on Concrete Structures

About Madeh Izat HamakareemVerified

Madeh is a Structural Engineer who works as Assistant Lecturer in Koya University. He is the author, editor and partner at theconstructor.org.