Durability + Design

Building Performance and Aesthetics

A Product of Technology Publishing
JPCL/PaintSquare | D+D | Paint BidTracker

Subscribe to D+D Magazine
Download Free eBook on Polishing Concrete

Paint and Coatings Industry 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.

No-Burn, Inc.
Designed to passively protect

Same trusted brand, new code compliant uses. We’ve answered the demand for better passive fire protection. Use coatings that meet the 2012 iCodes


BASF
New resins from BASF will have metals loving water:

Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films basf.us/industrialcoatings
polyorders@basf.com
800-231-7868


Concrete Decor
2014 Concrete Decor Show

Learn valuable techniques and see the latest decorative concrete products at the 2014 Concrete Decor Show in Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 29-Oct. 3. Register now!


H&C Decorative Concrete Products
A comprehensive line for all your decorative concrete needs.

H&C® is committed to beautiful concrete protection and offers a variety of treatments and unlimited color possibilities.


Westcoat
Bringing New Colors To Concrete Surfaces

Liven up your concrete surfaces with Westcoat's newest color choices. Introducing a myriad of Fast Stain, Liquid Dazzle, and Texture-Crete Interior colors.


Hanley Wood Exhibitions


KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA Consulting Services

Independent assessment of coating failures – in the field and laboratory.
Contact:
Kevin Brown, 336-874-2651
Corporate:
1-800-245-6379 x208

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

 
EXPLORE D+D:      Interact   |   Blogs   |   Resources   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   White Papers   |   Classifieds
GET D+D:      Subscribe   |   Advertising Media Kit
KNOW D+D:      About D+D   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2010-2014, Technology Publishing, Co., All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com