Profometer Test ( Rebar Locator Test ) | Lab Test Procedure | Applications, Advantages and Disadvantages

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  1. Introduction  

Non-destructive tests on concrete can be understood as the type of test on concrete structures that are employed to measure the strength of the concrete without actually destroying the structure. The primary objective of such a test is to evaluate the strength and durability of the existing concrete structure as well as for the identification of cracks and defects. One such type of non-destructive test on concrete structures is the Profometer test.

Profometer test can be defined as the non-destructive test conducted on the concrete structures to determine the size and location of the reinforcements and concrete cover rapidly and efficiently.

This test is also commonly known as the rebar locator test.


Profometer test


The instrument used to conduct this test is known as profometer or rebar locator.

The rebar locator test is the fastest and the easiest method of detecting the reinforcement bars in concrete.

The rebar locator is a light weighted and portable instrument. It combines the measurement of concrete cover and the diameter of the bars in one direction itself.

The basic working principle of the rebar detector is the application of the magnetic field so that the embedded steel will be detected.


  2. Applications of Profometer Test  

Some of the applications of the profometer test can be duly listed as follows:

1. Determination of the thickness of the concrete cover.

2. Determination of the location of steel bars.

3. Determination of the diameters of the reinforcement bars.


  3. General Test Procedure of Profometer Test  

The general test procedure of the profometer test has been briefly described below.


Apparatus Required

1. Rebar Detector

2. Marker

3. Ruler



The test procedure of the rebar detector test involves the following series of steps:

1. The concrete surface to be tested is first marked.

2. The instrument is then laid on the concrete surface (generally the surface of column or slab).

3. Then, the instrument is duly moved from left to right and from bottom to up to get the position of the reinforcement bars.

4. After locating the reinforcement, the total cover of the rebar is determined using the masonry drill.

Profometer test


Factors Affecting the Profometer Test

Some of the factors that affect the test results can be listed as follows:

1. Use of metal ties.

2. Use of aggregate that has magnetic properties.

3. The varied iron content of cement.


  4. Advantages of Profometer Test  

Some of the advantages of the profometer test can be listed as follows:

1. The test is very quick and can be completed in a short period of time.

2. The rebar detector or the profometer is light in weight and portable.


  5. Disadvantages of Profometer Test  

Some of the limitations of the profometer test can be listed as follows:

1. The test results can be affected by a number of factors such as binding wire, close spacing of bars etc.

2. Recalibration may be required for the rebars in excess of the distance of 32mm.

3. The thickness of the concrete cover may be altered in case special cement or admixtures are used.


Read More: Core Cutter Method
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