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Sensors may lead to "smarter" cement

October 8, 2017

A new wireless sensor that can read data about concrete strength, temperature and maturity may detect early problems in concrete foundations and other cement structures.
What makes corrosion in concrete so dangerous is that the early signs are rarely visible and once they appear, it is often too late for a quick repair and the corrosion could be the cause of a building collapse, according to two Canadian researchers who claim to have found a solution.
Dr. Aali R. Alizadeh and Dr. Pouria Ghods have founded Giatec Scientific Inc., with the support of the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program. They have been working on smart concrete technologies that can assess various parameters in concrete structures in real time—including hardening and corrosion.
Working with Design 1st and the University of Toronto through its Design Industry Advisory Committee, the team developed a sensor that could detect corrosion through a concrete wall.
The soon-to-be released XCell, a wireless probe which significantly reduces the cost and time required to assess the condition of concrete infrastructure.
Now, by combining sound expertise, they have created wireless concrete sensors that are fully embedded in a concrete mixture. These wireless sensors are connected to mobile applications, like cell phones, and can generate real-time reports, graphics and charts on the condition of the concrete.
“In one click, owners and builders can now pull out daily reports about their concrete structures and can use that data to make critical decisions about their projects,” according to Dr. Alizadeh.

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