Whether new construction, renovation or a repair, a structurally sound building or bridge depends on experts with extensive knowledge of structural materials specifications, codes and their properties to understand how the different materials support loads and resist deterioration.

The service life of a structure is affected by a number of factors, including:

  • Design of the building including its structure, joints and components
  • Quality of the individual materials and components
  • Construction standards
  • Actions on the structure during its life
  • Environmental effects on the structure
  • Use and changes in use of the building during its service life
  • Maintenance and repair programs    

SME provides a full range of structural materials engineering, quality assurance, materials nondestructive and destructive testing, assessment and evaluation services that provide owners, contractors, and designers the expertise required for safe, economical and sound structural projects. Our team includes experienced engineers with expertise in structural materials including concrete, steel, masonry, wood, composite materials, and more. SME also provides assessment and evaluation services for existing structure conditions, damaged structure conditions, Special Inspections during construction, laboratory testing of materials, and expert witness reports and testimony.

SME's Structural Materials services include:

  • Materials Condition Assessments and Evaluations
  • On-site Failure Analysis and Investigations
  • Specialized Nondestructive Testing
  • Fabrication Quality Assurance Review
  • Structural Steel Erection Reviews   
  • Existing Structure Component Assessment
  • Distress Evaluation
  • Load Test Specification and Monitoring
  • Borescope Examinations and Evaluations
  • Anchor Bolt Proof-loading and Evaluations
  • Fireproofing Application
  • Corrosion Engineering and Corrosion Assessment    
  • Metallurgical Engineering   
  • Assistance with Specification Development
  • Expert Witness

Concrete and Masonry Nondestructive Testing (NDT)

SME's Structural Materials experts specializes in the restoration and rehabilitation of existing structures, systems and components. A critical need in these endeavors is knowledge of present conditions and existing material properties. As such, SME’s experts uses a wide variety of nondestructive testing (NDT) equipment and processes to assist in evaluating structural materials, system internal components and properties. Often, several NDT techniques are used in combination to improve accuracy and develop useful or critical information for structural restoration. SME’s Concrete and Masonry NDT includes:
  • Impulse Radar (IPR)
  • Impact Echo Velocity (IE)
  • Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity (UPV)
  • Pachometer
  • Windsor Probe
  • Rebound Hammer
  • Sounding

Wood

SME’s Structural Materials team provides a variety of services to assess the condition of wood in a building to detect the existence, amount and depth of wood decay, checking and splitting. Using visual review, resistance drilling (probing), nondestructive testing, and laboratory testing, either individually or in combination, SME’s experts evaluate in-service wood to determine the extent of degradation so that it may be replaced or repaired to avoid structural failure. We also review in-service wood framing details in new construction for quality assurance purposes. SME performs laboratory testing of wood sample strength to evaluate the allowable load carrying capacity of wood. These evaluations and assessments can be conducted for code compliance, historic preservation, repair, rehabilitation or renovation projects. Services may include:

  • Condition assessments
  • Determination of allowable stresses
  • ICC Special Inspections
  • Construction review of joist and framing
  • Historic reviews
  • Nondestructive testing
  • Limited destructive testing
  • Laboratory strength testing of wood samples

Related Services

Service Experts

Kevin M. Whalen, PE

Project Engineer
Structural Materials Services

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R. Charles Ireland, PhD, PE

Senior Consultant
Structural Materials Services

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