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Research Project Information




Research Project Summary Information



Electrical Impedance-based Concrete Evaluation for Transportation Sector(ST9613-1)

Clarkson University

Background

Plain and reinforced Portland cement concrete forms the core of the nation’s infrastructure. In the transportation infrastructure, a majority of the bridges and pavements have concrete as their major structural component. Significant increases in traffic levels and long-term durability problems have necessitated repair and rehabilitation efforts in many of these structures. Estimating the properties of Portland cement concrete in the fresh and hardened stages is crucial in arriving at decisions regarding opening of the structure to service, condition assessment, repair procedures and schedule, and residual service life calculations. This research project intends to develop electrical impedance- or conductivity-based test methods to provide a unified, robust, and easy to use sensing system to estimate the properties and performance parameters of fresh and hardened concrete in the vital transportation infrastructure. The proposed system is anticipated to be a stand-alone non-destructive test method that can, in a reliable manner, provide indicators of the condition of the concrete structure, thereby making it an integral part of concrete infrastructure monitoring and management.

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Project Description

The objective of this project is to develop electrical impedance-based sensing systems to provide a unified, robust, and easy-to-use sensing system to estimate the properties and performance parameters of fresh and hardened concrete in the nation’s vital transportation infrastructure. The systems thus developed are anticipated to be stand-alone non-destructive test methods that can provide indicators of (i) the water content of concrete as placed, and (ii) the mechanical property of the in-place structure, thereby making it an integral part of concrete infrastructure monitoring and management. The goals for Phase II include designing and characterizing the sensor and the sensor systems for assessing the fresh and hardened concrete properties, designing the sensor electronics, and developing characteristic relationships between the measured parameters and the material properties.

Benefits

The majority of the energy losses occurring in transportation-related activities can be attributed to congestion and detours caused by faulty roads and bridges. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) reports that the vehicular travel on New York State’s highways has increased by 26% between 1990 and 2003. It also reports that 34% of the State’s major urban roads are congested and 35% of them are in need of urgent repair. The ASCE estimates that the cost of congestion in the New York City area is $893 per person per year. Though it is very difficult to directly quantify the energy benefits from the proposed project, it is believed that a robust and easy-to-use electrical impedance- based sensing system will allow early identification of the distressed or damaged areas in concrete infrastructure, and consequently a chance to better plan and address the problem, causing minimal congestion and delays.

Project Results

Significant laboratory work has been completed and shows promising results to date. A prototype gauge was evaluated, but there has been little progress in commercialization.

Contractor

Clarkson University
Attn: Comptroller's Office Po Box 5546
Potsdam, NY 13699

Principle Investigator

Dr. Narayanan Neithalath

Universities Involved

Clarkson University

Technologies

Project Type:

Research Study


Technologies Types:

Transportation
On-Road
Infrastructure

NYSERDA Contact Information

Joseph Tario
JDT@nyserda.ny.gov

Program

R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST9613-1




Last Updated: 6/29/2011