Adequate cover to the steel reinforcement in a concrete structure is important to ensure that the steel is kept sufficiently protected in the concrete to be well away from the effects of carbonation or other chemical reaction.
Cover meters are electromagnetic in operation. Electric currents in a coil winding in the search head generates a magnetic field which propagates through the concrete and will interact with any buried metal present, such as reinforcing steel.
The interaction will be due to either or both of two physical properties of the steel:
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