Innovation That Matters

| Photo source The University of Bournemouth

Sensors detect defects in structures

Property & Construction

Researchers have developed a new corrosion sensor that can prevent serious damages in large structures


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Spotted: The RAC Foundation estimates that, as of 2020, there were over 3,000 substandard bridges across the UK, which would require upwards of £1 billion in repairs to bring them back to perfect condition. Researchers at Bournemouth University have now created and patented a new corrosion sensor that could improve the safety and reliability of structures like bridges, aircraft, military vehicles, and gas pipelines.

The device can detect defects earlier than existing methods, improving the safety of these structures  and reducing the need for time-consuming, costly repairs that tend to inconvenience both industries and the public.

While many corrosion sensors require access to a computer with another worker at the site, this new device is wireless. It is attached to a structure, and its readings can be remotely monitored. It can also be used on any material, unlike traditional sensors that only work on metallic surfaces.

Development lead, Professor Zulfiqar Khan, started with the preservation of the Bovington Tank Museum’s collection of tanks and military vehicles. The technology has now been granted patents in the UK and the US. The team is seeking to work with partners so that the device can be rolled out across the industry, engineering, and construction industries.

Researchers are continuously finding ways to improve our infrastructure. Springwise has recently spotted the discovery of a technique for longer-lasting concrete inspired by ancient Rome, and using mine waste to bolster building materials in Denmark.

Written By: Anam Alam




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