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ECS Limited

Founded in 1988, Engineering Consulting Services (ECS) is a leader in geotechnical, construction materials, environmental and facilities engineering.


United States

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Founded in 1988, Engineering Consulting Services (ECS) is a leader in geotechnical, construction materials, environmental and facilities engineering. At that time, our goal was to raise the standards of professional consulting engineering by hiring industry professionals who understood the complexities of building and maintaining modern infrastructures. Our company success spans multiple industry sectors. Our steady growth comes from a deep belief in developing the people, systems and expertise required to focus on client needs. Today, with 2,500 employees, ECS has grown to more than 80 offices and testing facilities spread across the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southeast and Southwest. ECS is currently ranked 61 in Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design Firms (ENR, April 2023) and 142 in Engineering News-Record’s Top 200 Environmental Firms (ENR, July 2022).

Products & Services

Our Geotechnical Engineering Services

We’re in the business of helping you stay in yours; that’s why we provide a myriad of services to support your construction efforts. ECS offers multiple geotechnical services, including:

Due Diligence/Planning:

  • Subsurface Explorations and Assessments
  • Groundwater Evaluation
  • Aerial Photo Interpretation
  • Literature Review and Record
  • Foundation Design
  • Subgrade Preparation
  • Groundwater Mitigation
  • Global Stability Analysis
  • In-Situ Testing
  • Geophysical Surveys
  • Geotechnical Lab Testing
  • Deep Foundations
  • Seismic Analysis
  • Karst Evaluations
  • Geotechnical Construction Consulting
  • Geostructural Design
  • Karst Evaluations


  • Pavement Design
  • Retaining Wall Design
  • Earth Retention Systems
  • Ground Improvement Design
  • Dewatering Design
  • 3rd Party Foundation/Retaining Wall Design Review


  • Value Engineering
  • Load Testing
  • Underground Construction
  • Temporary Shoring Design
  • Instrumentation and Monitoring
  • Pre/Post blast surveys

Operations & Maintenance:

  • Forensic Engineering
  • Failure Analysis
  • Remedial Design
  • Expert Witness and Litigation Support
  • Natural Disaster Evaluation
  • Insurance Investigations

What Is Geotechnical Engineering?

Geotechnical engineering consultants use principles from physics and geology to build solid foundations for roads, buildings and other structures that will last for decades — it’s much more than dirt and concrete. In order to handle this process, they have to have an extraordinary range of skills. Geotechnical engineers must be able to do a great deal of field work as well as understand building materials and systems at a very basic level.

When completing construction of any kind, it is important to understand the properties of the site you intend to build on. Geotechnical engineering consultants analyze the site on which you’ll be building to determine ground and slope stability, load capacity and more. 

Liquid Dye Penetrant Testing

What Is Liquid Dye Penetrant Testing? 

Liquid dye penetrant testing allows testers to identify surface defects, such as cracks, pores and intergranular corrosion. The process can vary based on the tested material and the method used, but the test typically starts with a specialized dye. An evaluator will apply the dye to a surface they wish to review. Then, they will use a chalk-like developer to draw the liquid out.

When there are surface defects in a material, the dye will penetrate the cracks and pores. Once the tester removes the excess liquid, they can assess the condition of the material. This process is most effective for non-porous materials, such as:

  • Pipes
  • Welds
  • Forgings
  • Castings
  • Bars

If materials show signs of wear on the surface, this is an indication that the material may require repair, maintenance or replacement. The results and the evaluator’s opinion can help you understand the next steps following a test.

liquid dye testing

Liquid Dye Penetrant Testing Methods 

The dye penetrant process has evolved since its inception to be even more effective for specific testing materials. The different types of dye penetrant testing include:

Portable Method Stainless Steel Pipe Weld: This assessment process works for pipes and welds. Our portable method allows us to take our process to you, even if you work out in the field. We apply the specialized dye and perform a visual evaluation of the surface. 

Cracked Bolt Hole: This more focused form of dye penetrant testing involves applying the dye around bolt holes. These areas often undergo high forces, and cracks may begin to form without being immediately visible. Our dye penetrant process reveals defects before they become significant cracks that lead to system failure.

Fluorescent Method: This process differs from standard dye penetrant methods because we use fluorescent dye. After completing the dyeing process, we can view the material under ultraviolet radiation in a dark area to create a strong contrast between the material and its defects. This method offers high levels of sensitivity.

The Benefits of a Dye Penetrant Test

Dye penetrant testing offers various benefits to building owners. This evaluation method is:

Non-destructive: Many building owners prefer non-destructive testing for the fact that it offers results while keeping test materials intact.

Cost-effective: Compared to other forms of non-destructive testing, a dye penetrant test can offer extensive results for the cost.

Rapid: A dye penetrant inspection is a fast testing process that can provide results in minutes. Your operation or workflow will likely not need to face downtime for our team to complete the process.

Sensitive: The dying process is sensitive to some of the smallest surface discontinuities, allowing you to maintain and make repairs long before wear becomes an issue.

Flexible: Dye penetrant testing is compatible with a wide range of materials and complex shapes, including ferromagnetic and nonferrous materials. We can apply this testing method to various parts of your facility or building.

Contact ECS for a Dye Penetrant Inspection

At ECS, we are committed to excellence in everything we do. Through our dye penetrant testing, we give you a good understanding of material quality. After receiving the results of this process, we will communicate your options to help you understand the practical next steps. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our dye penetrant inspections.

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