Reversed Engineering

Reverse engineering is a methodology used to extract vital structural information from existing constructions, employing it for assessing load-carrying capacity and structural safety. The data collected encompasses structural dimensions, detailing, and mechanical properties of materials. Utilizing this information to formulate numerical models of structures, the structural analysis through the finite element method, coupled with the computed structural cross-sectional force and moment resistances, contributes to determining the load-carrying capacity. This, in turn, serves as an indicator of the safety level of the structures.

Why Reversed Engineering?

Certainly, the anticipated result of engaging in reverse engineering is the evaluation of safety, achieved by comparing the calculated strength of structural members with the actual internal forces occurring in those members. These forces are induced by the applied loads in accordance with the requirements outlined in building or bridge design codes. The following are reasons why reverse engineering is necessary:

– Changes in load intensity or load patterns (alteration in area function)

– Absence of structural information (lack of structural drawings and engineering calculations)

– Structural damage (material deterioration, fire, blast, overloading)

– Construction errors


Data Collection (on-site)

Scanning at Structural Scale

  • 3D Point Cloud Scanning by LiDAR for structural dimension
  • Impact Echo Testing for wall and slab thickness

Scanning at Member Scale

  • Steel Reinforcement Scanning by Ferro Scanner or Ground Penetrating Radar
  • Structural Steel Thickness Measurement by Ultrasonic Thickness Meter

Material Collection and Mechanical Property Testing

  • Steel Sample Collection (if possible)
  • Steel Hardness Testing (Non-destructive, indirect approach for tensile strength)
  • Concrete Sample Collection by Coring
  • Concrete Compressive Strength Testing

Foundation Data Collection

  • Foundation Exploration for quantity and dimension of pile
  • Parallel Seismic Testing & Soil Investigation for pile tip location and pile capacity

Modeling & Analysis (office)

Structural Member Modeling in 3-Dimensional Space & Structural Analysis

  • Span Length
  • Bay Spacing
  • Story Height
  • Applied Load: Building and Bridge Design Code or Actual Known Load
  • Outcome: “Demand” (actual internal forces in each structural member)

Cross Section Modeling & Cross-sectional Capacity Analysis

  • Dimension and Shape of Cross Sections
  • Cross-sectional Detailing (Quantity and Position of Steel Reinforcement)
  • Material Strength
  • Outcome: “Capacity” (force and moment resistances by structural members)

Demand-to-Capacity Analysis

  • Comparison between “Demand” and “Capacity” for each individual structural member for safety evaluation.
  • If “Demand” is less than “Capacity”, Demand-to-Capacity Ratio is less than 1.0 which denotes the safe condition, whereas DCR > 1.0 is unsafe state.