A Longer Life for Belgian monumental church windows

The St. Theodardus church in the Belgian town of Beringen-Mijn is one of the five so called Mine Cathedrals. These were built by coal mining companies in the Kempen coal basin. The church in Beringen-Mijn was completed in 1943 and has protected architectural heritage status since 1985. One of the most remarkable features of the brick building are the unique stained glass windows. The glass mosaics were encased in reinforced concrete, which was an experimental method at the time. Unfortunately, concrete decay and a fire in 1980 caused serious damage to many of the windows.

The windows are currently undergoing renovation by Renotec, supervised by the St. Theodardus church workshop and PERSPECTIV architects. In most cases, the concrete decay is caused by corrosion of the reinforcing steel bars in the concrete. To prevent this after the renovation, the steel bar will be protected with an impressed current system. For this to be effective, there needs to be an electrical connection between all metal bars inside the concrete.

Renotec contracted MME Group to use digital radiography to make X-ray images of the windows to determine the location of the rebar in each of them. To acquire the images, an X-ray tube is placed under the windows and the detector panel is placed on top of them. After each exposure the panel is moved to the next section of the window until the whole window has been covered. After that, the system’s software stitches the images into one image of the entire window, which can then be analysed by the restoration experts.

This Advanced Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) method is ideal for this kind of application because it allows for a quicker and more efficient workflow. Acquiring an image takes less time and the result is displayed on screen immediately. Contact us to find how we can help you realize “A Longer Life” for your assets or products with advanced NDT technology.

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Digital Radiography (DR)
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Advanced NDT
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Non-Destructive Testing
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