MINA-NEWS #18 - February 2012
Leti embeds sensors in concrete
A PhD research project recently completed at Leti examined a way to embed low-cost microphones and accelerometers in building materials to monitor structures as they age. A construction and public works company has already expressed interest in the new technique.
Under the new system, sensors continuously monitor a structure’s health by picking up ambient noise. Because they are tiny, the sensors do not add weight that could put additional stress on the structure. And, because they are embedded in the construction materials, they are less vulnerable and cumbersome than the surface-mounted sensors currently used. Construction workers can embed the sensors in new structures as they are built, with no need for special skills or training.
The sensors emit signals that can be used to pinpoint their exact location. The next step will be in-lab testing, followed by testing on an actual structure.