Microfluidic Devices for Structural Health Monitoring and Integrity

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Faculty of Engineering & the Environment


The proposed research will make use of world-class facilities at the University of Southampton and analytical expertise to develop advanced structural health monitoring devices capable of sensing, diagnosing and responding to damage only when necessary, leading to the construction of smart corrosion protection technology. The Southampton expertise will enable the assembly, for the first time, of an integrated device consisting of microlitre sampling, integrated advanced microfluidic and electrochemical sensing systems, wireless communications and the capability for targeted remediation (fluidic control and/or chemical inhibition) at corrosion affected areas. In addition, the device will be able to perform self-diagnostics to ensure judicious maintenance.
Description Designs and manufacturing routes for a portable and in-situ microfluidic based capillary micro electrophoresis systems able to capture ions present in micro litres of volume of fluid extracted from crevice corrosion areas.

Footprinting of ion release for a series of different crevice geometries and materials (carbon steel and NAB) were obtained using lab scale capillary electrophoresis analysis. Detection of key species and differentiation of key species (Cu2+, Ni2+, Fe3+, Fe2+, Cr3+, Mn2+, Al3+ etc) allowed footprints for active and benign crevice corrosion activity.

thick film sensors were developed to detect cooper ions using screen printed platinum electrodes.
Exploitation Route further research using boron doped diamond electrodes has been successful In broadening the applications of electrochemical sensing of corrosion.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Construction,Transport

Description Thick film sensor developed in this project have been used to apply and be award a BBSRC grant - Robust, Ion-Selective Thick-Film Sensors for Long-Term Field Deployment BBSRC value £125000 ref BB/J021210/1. Has subsequently led to a MoD CDE funded project on boron-doped diamond sensors and on going work for Fraser-Nash.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Construction,Healthcare,Transport
Impact Types Cultural,Economic

Description EPSRC
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Secondments Scheme KTS/09/10/003 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom