A reliable monitoring system is extremely important to elongate lifespan of structures, and to increase safety and eventually to enhance the sustainability. Currently, most monitoring of concrete is done using systems developed for other applications and materials. The commonly used metallic sensors are fixed to concrete surface by adhesives or mechanical connectors.
These sensors are very prone to mechanical damages and de-bonding from the concrete surface due to e.g. combined actions of exposure to environmental conditions or strain and stresses, which results in their low reliability and very short life-span. Furthermore, there is no material compatibility between the sensor and concrete leading to problem with data interpretation and delamination (disjoining) for example due to different thermal expansions coefficients. The main aim of the project is to develop a novel monitoring system for concrete structures which will be reliable, extremely robust, easy to install and durable.
It will contribute to the elongation of the service life span of existing structures and will lower monitoring and maintenance costs of new built structures. In the proposed approach the structural concrete material will be used itself as a sensor thus excluding the need to install large number of traditional sensors (e.g. small metallic gauges) having questionable reliability and very short durability.
SmartCem project will use novel technology to incorporate a large amount of well dispersed carbon nanofibers into cementitious binder matrix called SmartCem