Prompting in situ testing and monitoring of civil engineering infrastructure using special lectures and exhibitions

Lead Research Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Department Name: Sch Planning Architecture and Civil Eng

Abstract

The durability of building materials, such as stone and concrete, depends on their porosity and permeability; that is, if they are highly porous and permeable, gas and water can penetrate through them, which can lead to different types of deterioration of the material. Through a series of computer animations, it is intended to demonstrate the concept of packing density of materials and its influence on the penetrability characteristics and, the resulting, durability performance, such as corrosion, freeze-thaw scaling and salt-induced disintegration. These computer displays will be accompanied by physical exhibits, to illustrate the usefulness of in situ testing and monitoring the behaviour using embedded sensors. The working principle of sensors will be illustrated using these exhibits, which are intended to stimulate an interest on the physics of material behaviour in undergraduate students in Science and Engineering and an awareness amongst engineers and professionals in the construction industry on how to ensure sustainable and durable construction materials.
 
Description This grant was to demonstrate the concept of packing density of materials and its influence on the penetrability characteristics and, the resulting, durability performance, such as corrosion, freeze-thaw scaling and salt-induced disintegration through a series of computer animations and physical exhibits. They were then used to demonstrate the usefulness of in situ testing and monitoring the behaviour using embedded sensors. The working principle of sensors were illustrated using these exhibits, which was intended to stimulate an interest on the physics of material behaviour in undergraduate students in Science and Engineering and an awareness amongst engineers and professionals in the construction industry on how to ensure sustainable and durable construction materials. Through participation in international conferences and exhibitions, around 500 professionals and students were introduced to these new technologies.
Exploitation Route The displays at the exhibitions in international conferences generated interests in in situ test devices and sensor systems to assess the durability of concrete structures. This enhanced the sale of these instruments/devices of two University spin-outs Amphora NDT Limited and Sengenia Limited.
Sectors Construction,Education

URL http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentreforBuiltEnvironmentResearch/People/Staff/AcademicStaff/ProfessorMBasheer
 
Description The physical displays at the exhibitions and computer animations have encouraged potential users of non-destructive test instruments and sensor systems for assessing the durability of concrete structures to buy these devices from two university spin outs, Sengenia Limited and Amphora NDT Limited.
First Year Of Impact 2008
Sector Construction
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Amphora Non-destructive Testing Ltd 
Organisation Amphora Non-Destructive Testing Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2006
 
Description City University 
Organisation City, University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2006
 
Description Heriot-Watt University 
Organisation Heriot-Watt University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2006
 
Description Sengenia Ltd 
Organisation Sengenia Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2007
 
Description University of Edinburgh 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2006
 
Company Name Sengenia Ltd 
Description Sengenia Limited is a fibre optic sensor company, bringing ingenuity in sensing. Fibre optic sensors are revolutionising the world of sensing and monitoring through the recognition of their numerous advantages over alternative technologies. 
Year Established 2007 
Impact Micron Optics, a major US based sensor and instrumentation company has licensed Sengenia Ltd to distribute their products in the UK due to profile this spin out has developed.
Website http://www.sengenia.com
 
Description Engagement with practising engineers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Scientific meeting (conference/symposium etc.)
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Following the activity, the spin out companies which were marketing the technology received an improvement in sales of the technologies. In addition, the technology has gone into guidance notes prepared by RILEM and ACI.

Following the activity and promotion of commercial products covered by the talk, there was an improved uptake of technology internationally, for instance the Birds Nest Stadium and several key bridges in China were tested with the technologies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
URL http://www.amphorandt.com/