Smart Sensors Transform Bridges
A new type of sensor is under development in the civil engineering department of the University of British Columbia that can sense changes in the stress condition and temperature of a concrete structure – such as bridges and other civil infrastructure – by making the concrete electrically conductive.
“Small piezoresistive sensors (which measure changes in electrical resistance) embedded in the concrete and connected by Internet in a network enable us to determine what kind of a load a concrete bridge can carry and how durable it is,” said Nemy Banthia, who is leading the research. “When installed strategically as tiny sensors in a concrete structure, they can provide engineers with continuous data on the health of the structure they are part of.”
Stress sensitivity of the piezoresistive sensors is 100 times greater than traditional sensors, he said.
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