Sensor Technology Research Centre

Structural Health Monitoring

In collaboration with the British Geological Survey (BGS Keyworth, Geotechnical Rock Testing Facility) we are investigating the electrical signals associated with fracture processes in rocks and concrete. EP sensors are ideal for this study, offering robust ultra-high impedance measurement capability combined with extreme sensitivity.

Rock sample exploding under applied stressRock sample exploding under applied stress

There is laboratory based evidence to suggest that these signals are due to irreversible processes such as micro-cracking and that there are characteristic precursor signals which occur prior to the catastrophic failure of the material. Experiments to correlate these electrical signals with conventional strain gauge and acoustic emission sensors are being carried out to confirm this. If this can be established beyond reasonable doubt then we have the basis of a new a structural health monitoring system which could easily and cost effectively be retrofitted to buildings and structures made of stone or concrete.

Our research aim is to establish firmly the link between precursor electrical signals and micro-cracking and to produce a system which is capable of being deployed in the field to monitor stress changes in structures and buildings in a cost effective way.

For further information regarding this research, please contact Dr Ahmet Aydin