CSI Research & Lab received a patent for comprehensive system used for real-time quality control in reinforced concrete structures
January 29, 2019
CSI Research&Lab was the first company in Kazakhstan who obtained a patent for wireless sensor monitoring system of concrete components - utility model №3575. Implementation of this sensory system in industrial and civil construction will allow bringing a fundamentally new level of materials quality control system used in construction, as well as enabling to track current state of the building online.

The concept of IoT (Internet of Things) is the core principle of this system. In practice, it works as following: the sensor is embedded into the body of the reinforced concrete structure and transmits information on its internal properties remotely to mobile devices for several months or even several years. A specially designed mobile application allows real-time assessment of the value of the current strength of the structure, as well as assessment of the technical condition of the monolithic buildings frame and its structures.

Such systems are not something new to the market. The CS100 and CS200 sensors, manufactured by British company "Structural Health Systems", "SmartRock" - manufactured by the Canadian Giatec enterprise and others, are among widely known. The underlying principles of these sensors demand to conduct laboratory tests of the same concrete mixture, which is to be poured on the construction grounds. Further, the correlation of test results with the sensor measurements allows determining concrete current strength. Such approach raises a doubt about reliability of the results obtained by the sensors, since the same concrete mixture as on the construction site cannot be selected from completely different inert materials in a remote laboratory. In addition, the sensors use Bluetooth wireless technology transmitting data to a mobile device. Since the Bluetooth of a mobile device allows connecting to one sensor only, and its radius through the thickness of the concrete is limited to several meters, it takes a long time to monitor the structure quality.

There is one more important thing – the sensors of foreign manufacturers are quite expensive, $80 and above, which naturally leads to an increase in the cost of construction.

Domestic development will obviously take its distinguished place on the global market for non-destructive testing of concrete strength due to the IoT concept, since the system allows real-time quality monitoring and eliminates time wasting for searching each sensor separately and collecting information from it. This approach is critical in massive, deep and sophisticated structures, where traditional methods of non-destructive strength-tests are not applicable.

According to the patent authors' opinion (Yelbek Utepov, Yerzhan Kabdush), after long-term monitoring of the state of structures and the accumulation of Big Data of sensor measurements, it will be possible to issue various reports such as: "Analytical report on the quality of inert concrete materials", "Analytical report on the reliability of the monolithic frame of buildings" and also "Recommendations for improving the quality of monolithic works". Manufacturers of concrete mixtures and inert materials, construction companies, as well as future residents of monolithic buildings may be deeply interested in such reports and recommendations.

CSI Research & Lab plans to arrange the mass production of wireless sensors and in the next, improved version, apply mBIoT (Microchip Bluetooth Internet of Things) technology, which allows automatic synchronization of measurement data from all sensors into a single database. Even so, according to preliminary calculations, the cost of sensors for the Kazakhstan consumer will be three times lower than that of foreign manufacturers – about $30 per unit.

Yelbek Utepov – PhD in the specialty of "Civil Engineering". Author of three patented developments implemented into the practice, for instance, the development of self-compacting concrete mixture and the technology of construction works with self-compacting concrete are implemented into the technological line of the concrete mixtures plant ABK-Concrete, in the City of Astana (https://csi.kz/news/30112018).

Yerzhan Kabdush – Director, Partner of CSI Research&Lab. Master of Sciences in Geoinformation Systems and Cartography. Expert in the field of spatial analysis and development of business using GIS, with the experience of working on international projects, related to spatial analysis (Natural Flood Management, Scotland), Member of International Association on Geoinformation Systems (AGI)

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