Structural and material health monitoring of cementitious materials using passive wireless conductivity sensors
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Electrical conductivity (or resistivity) of cementitious materials is considered to be a fundamental property and is commonly measured using nondestructive and noninvasive testing techniques. Therefore, electrical measurements are gaining popularity in both research and field applications for structural health monitoring and material characterization of civil engineering infrastructure systems. Based on the results of measurements, the engineer can schedule maintenance more accurately and give an early warning of possible structural failure. Recently, health monitoring systems are capable of significantly increasing the cost efficiency of maintenance and repair by helping engineers improve the safety and maintainability of structures through early damage detection. The research team at the University of Texas at Austin developed a low-cost, passive, wireless conductivity sensor system. Sensors are wirelessly interrogated using external reader during inspection over the service life of the structure to monitor the conductivity variations within concrete. The focus of this work is to assess the condition of cementitious materials by measuring electrical conductivity using passive wireless sensors. By analyzing the measured conductivity data, the condition of the cementitious material, such as extent of hydration, setting and hardening times, and transport phenomena, can be assessed. This document also provides comprehensive information on the design, fabrication, interrogation, and response of conductivity sensor platforms.