Durability + Design
 
About  |  Subscribe  |  Advertise  |  Connect 
Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook

 

Download our free eBook on Fire Resistive Coating sponsored by Shield Industries Inc.

D+D News

Main News Page


‘Skin’ Senses Structural Defects

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

More items for Coatings Technology

Comment | More

A new “sensing skin” developed for nuclear plants could flag damage on a multitude of concrete structures, allowing more response time before a potential failure, researchers say.

The coating technology works as an early warning system for numerous concrete structures, said scientists from North Carolina State University and University of Eastern Finland, who are developing the material.

sensing skin
Wikimedia Commons

The "sensing skin" is an electrically conductive coat of paint that is applied over electrodes placed around the perimeter of a new or existing structure.

"The sensing skin could be used for a wide range of structures, but the impetus for the work was to help ensure the integrity of critical infrastructure such as nuclear waste storage facilities," said Dr. Mohammad Pour-Ghaz, an assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper on the research.

How it Works

The "skin" is an electrically conductive coat of paint that is applied over electrodes placed around the perimeter of a new or existing structure.

The paint can use multiple kinds of conductive materials, like copper, making it relatively inexpensive, researchers said.

A computer program is used to run a small current between two of the electrodes at a time, cycling through the possible electrode combinations. As the current runs between the electrodes, the computer records the electrical potential at all of the electrodes on the structure and calculates the skin's spatially distributed electrical conductivity.

If conductivity decreases, that means the structure has a crack or has been damaged. The researchers developed algorithms to register damage and determine where that damage is on the structure.

North Carolina State University
Dr. Aku Seppänen via NCSU.edu

"The idea is to identify problems quickly so that they can be addressed before they become big problems and—in the case of some critical infrastructure—so that public safety measures can be implemented," said Dr. Mohammad Pour-Ghaz.

Determining the damage location has been a "challenging mathematical problem," said Dr. Aku Seppänen, an Academy Research Fellow in the Department of Applied Physics at the University of Eastern Finland and co-author of the paper.

 

"We had to develop new computational methods to more reliably determine where the damage is. Ultimately, I think our work represents an advance over previous algorithms in terms of accuracy," Seppänen said.

Small Scale to Big Problems

"The idea is to identify problems quickly so that they can be addressed before they become big problems and—in the case of some critical infrastructure—so that public safety measures can be implemented," Dr. Pour-Ghaz said.

So far, the researchers have tested and demonstrated the sensing skin's accuracy on concrete beams less than a meter wide.

"Our next step is to extend this to large geometrics," Pour-Ghaz said.

"We want to show that this will work on real-world structures."

The researchers' paper, "Electrical impedance tomography-based sensing skin for quantitative imaging of damage in concrete," was published June 18 in the online edition of the journal Smart Materials and Structures.

   

Tagged categories: Colleges and Universities; Concrete; Concrete defects; Infrastructure; Research

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
Bringing innovation to the surface.™

PPG Protective & Marine Coatings is widely recognized as a world leader in protective and marine coatings, developing innovative, cutting-edge products and services.


KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA Analyzes
Coating Failures

• Field Diagnosis
• Lab Diagnosis
• Determination of Cause
• Recommendations
www.kta.com
800-245-6379


Keim Mineral Coatings
Translucent concrete stains for new and old concrete

Penetrating, translucent mineral silicate stains harmonize uneven concrete color and blend patches and repairs, without the "painted" look. Will never peel.


Pyrotech
Beautiful Wood, NO flames

Achieve a Class A flame spread rating on your fine wood products with a clear, varnish-quality, durable finish. PyroCide Clear by PyroTech


Atlas Material Testing Technology

Helping You Put Your Products To The Test

• Outdoor Accelerated
Weathering
• Laboratory Testing
Services
• Accelerated Weathering
Instruments

www.atlas-mts.com atlas.info@ametek.com

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@durabilityanddesign.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 

© Copyright 2012-2016, Technology Publishing Co., All rights reserved