Micro drilling test on a piling using the IML RESI F300-S - USDA Forest Products Laboratory reportMicro-Drilling for Structural Wood Timber or Beam Damage Assessment
How experts assess the structural integrity of wood framing or wood timbers in-situ using micro-drilling

  • WOOD BEAM MICRO-DRILLING ASSESSMENT - CONTENTS: using micro-drilling to detect wood damage or rot in wood structural beams & timbers
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about methods used in testing structural wood members for damage or decay & the role of micro-drilling tests for in-situ evaluation of structural wood beams, timbers, or other framing members in buildings..
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Micro-drillng test methods for determining the soundness of wood structural members:

Probett et als., propose a technique to provide objective pass-fail data on the condition of in-situ but suspect structural wood using micro drilling to examine wood density. This service uses timber resistance drill technology to profile variations in timber density associated with timber decay. The work is done on site and the results are instant. This technology is objective and evidential in nature and provides assessment as to whether wood is significantly decayed, suspect or suitable for retention.

This article series describes the various methods used to test & evaluate the structural integrity of wood-framed buildings where focus is on the condition of structural wood posts, beams and other framing members. We discuss the problems surrounding hidden rot or decay, the presence or absence of moisture or other instrument-detectable clues, and the problem of subjective decisions to replace or not-replace suspect wood structural members.

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Micro-Drilling: Resistance drill Methods for Wood Structural Member Assessment

Micro Drilling in-situ timber test - Incodo, Tauranga New ZealandPaul Probett, Clinton Craig, Blake Probett, Incodo Forensic Building Specialists [1]

This article series on methods for assessing structural wood rot & damage is adapted & expanded from the author's "An Introduction to Micro-Drilling Technology for N. Z. Structural Timber Assessment" and is used with permission. We [DF] have added comments, some illustrations, and additional article citations.

At the references section we include a link to the original article as well as contact information for the authors and Incodo Ltd., a Tauranga, New Zealand forensic engineering firm.

[Click to enlarge any image or illustration]

It is crucial to use this or any nondestructive testing tool or device as part of a comprehensive condition assessment. Such an assessment should incorporate an in-depth visual inspection, knowledge of prior use of the structure, and a working knowledge of fundamental engineering properties of structural wood products.

This technique, when used in concert with visual and ultrasound techniques, would provide a very accurate description of the condition of timbers. [20]

Our discussion of micro-drilling is divided into three segments. Below is segment 1.

  1. WOOD BEAM MICRO-DRILLING ASSESSMENT - - Incodo study of microdrilling for wood structure assessment
  2. WOOD BEAM MICRO-DRILLING PROCEDURES - separate article, details of how micro drilling is used to assess wood structural member condition
  3. WOOD BEAM MICRO-DRILLING EFFECTIVENESS - separate article, Micro-Drilling: Resistance drill Methods for Wood Structural Member Assessment. Incodo Testing Program of Micro-Drilling for Wood Assessment

Properties of Micro-Drilling for Wood Structural Member Assessment

Micro drilling - USDA FPL Study

Image of micro-drilling, USDA FPL [20].



Visual Inspection Compared with Micro-drilling for Wood Structure Assessment

Micro-drilling measures drill resistance which is related to timber density and strength.

Visual /brashness testing supported with limited microbiological testing focuses on removal of all decayed timber as the critical element in decisions.

It is suggested that – as decayed frame replacement work is work undertaken under a building consent – testing or assessment should be based on compliance documents as far as possible.

This may involve a modification of current approaches to remediation practice by reference to existing building code documents as the preferred evaluation criteria for making timber retain or re frame type decisions.

Note: Above information is copyright, commercially sensitive and is yet to be peer reviewed. It is not to be copied or circulated without the express and written permission of Incodo Limited. Adapted here by, with permission from Incodo 8/5/2012, technical review is in process.

V4a 06/12 - ####

The original authors' article without the expanded discussion added here can be seen at An Introduction to Micro-Drilling Technology for N. Z. Structural Timber Assessment. [PDF]

Additional comments, illustrations, and technical citations addressing wood structure testing technologies have been added. We and the original authors invite and will reply to reader questions and comments using the comments box found at the end of this article. Initial technical review completed 8/6/201


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