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Tankshal ni Masjid: Workshop on Non and Minor Destructive Testing

As a part of the structural conservation course offered to the students of the second-semester masters in Conservation and Regeneration program (MCR at Faculty of Architecture CEPT University), a two-day workshop was organized on 20th & 22nd February 2023 to understand the different non and minor destructive testing methods available to aid structural conservation. The workshop was conducted by Nigar Shaikh (Conservation Engineer and Course Tutor) and supported by Zeus Pithawalla (Conservation Architect, Site-In charge for Tankshal Pol Masjid). This workshop introduced students to the theory and different techniques used for Non-destructive and Minor-destructive

testing and gave them hands-on experience to engage with the equipment of UPV, Rebound Hammer, Borescope, and Moisture meter.

The students conducted tests on the timber columns and masonry walls of the mosque. On the four sides of a selected column, a Tap test was done to identify weak points. Further, a moisture meter was used to assess the percentage of moisture in the material using both pin and pin-less methods. A rebound hammer was used to assess the Surface hardness of the element. Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity tests were conducted to identify possible cracks, knots, decay, and grain deviations behind the surface of timber elements. The UPV test is also used to determine physical and mechanical properties from the data collected. A borescope was also used to inspect some cavities in the timber elements to understand the extent of decay and termite infestation.

Along with providing a hands-on experience of using the equipment, the students were encouraged to interpret the results and draw inferences based on the tests. This also provided them with an opportunity to understand the applicability and limitations of different methods. The workshop was aimed to create an understanding of the different non-invasive testing methods and how the combination of these tests helps investigators gain a comprehensive understanding of a building's condition without causing damage to the historic fabric. These methods are vital for preserving the maximum historic fabric while providing relevant information regarding the building material and structure. The recommendations made based on the tests will help preserve the historic building's structural integrity and historic fabric for future generations.


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