Advanced corrosion monitoring for marine and civil infrastructure - bringing new technology closer to market

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

Abstract

This 'follow-on' project builds upon the success of recent work undertaken by the applicants, particularly under the first round of the EPSRC Challenging Engineering Programme and, critically, takes that research forward towards industrial application and exploitation. The work continues the strong interdisciplinary partnership between Electrical Engineering at City University London (CUL) and Civil Engineering at Queen's University of Belfast (QUB), working together with their respective Technology Transfer Officers (TTOs) to take full advantage of the excellent relationship forged, including with the spin-out company, Sengenia, and the other industrial partners, Network Rail, Roads Services of Northern Ireland, Amey Plc and Collins Engineering. There is a clear focus of the proposal - to make the commercial potential of the research more evident, both to the market and to set a platform for generating sustainable interest from future funding organizations to create the right conditions for commercial exploitation of the technology. The key technical strength, underpinning the commercial potential and providing the capability, is the successful development (through the support from EPSRC EP/D030269/1, EP/D030196/1, EP/D009162/1, EP/F012829/1) of novel corrosion sensor systems for monitoring early signatures of concrete corrosion. This has enabled the creation of, for the first time to the knowledge of applicants, new, tailored, durable in-situ pH sensors which have a demonstrable capability to measure pH values higher than 12 and chloride sensors which have not just been able to measure free chloride concentrations (to a level as low as 20mM) but also been sustainable in the high alkaline environment experienced.The research undertaken to date has shown real promise to bridge currently identified market gaps by providing better monitoring solutions for both marine and civil infrastructures and thus to overcome current commercial limitations in the UK and beyond, especially in terms of the sensing range, sensitivity and durability. Several important technical and commercial challenges have been identified which are well attuned to the Follow-on funding agenda and the success of this proposal promises industry access to better data to allow more timely maintenance and cost saving - creating a successful commercial proposition, to the benefit of UK and global industry. It should be stressed that this application to the Follow-on Fund is targeted not simply at another year's work on sensors per se but is designed to make the ideas generated and the work done better suited to rapid commercial exploitation, to the benefit both of industry and academia. The approach taken is built on the support of and advice from both an SME and end users, to give a better understanding of decay and corrosion processes in the built environment.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Development of optical sensors for environmental and structural health monitoring
Exploitation Route use of sensorsin extreme environments
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Construction,Environment

 
Description 1. Structural Health monitoring (SHM) using fibre optical sensors (FOS)on the world's first full WIM and optical sensor BWIM with higher accuracy to detect axles using an adapted Moses algorithm - enabled on Loughbrickland bridge and has been functioning since 2012 to current 2. FOS SHM used to save several bridges in NI with new build savings beyond £1m by proving safety e.g. Dee street bridge, Abercorn Bridge ( proved light weight Basalt fibre slab and saved from demolition), M1 (NI) bridges with DBFOco. ( also savings in the disruption when a bridge is lost 3. FOS used in the tidal zone of restoration work on the titanic dock to assure safety of the historic doc floor and safe construction of new bund as part of the new Titanic Quarter in Belfast ( voted one of the top tourist destination 2016) 4. FOS and vision techniques used on Peace Bridge in Derrry to prove safety under crowd loading at the annual Halloween fireworks display.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Construction,Transport,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic

 
Description Invest Northern Ireland
Amount £247,885 (GBP)
Funding ID USI023 
Organisation Invest Northern Ireland 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2011 
End 09/2014
 
Description Invest Northern Ireland
Amount £247,885 (GBP)
Funding ID USI023 
Organisation Invest Northern Ireland 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2011 
End 09/2014