Detecting and reporting in detail reinforced concrete decay for a fraction of the costOur patented system performs non-destructive survey of structural materials with real time results
De Sitters Law of Fives
(Cost Against Delay of Repair)
Deterioration rate of structures depends on the exposure conditions and extent of maintenance. Corrosion, a result of chemical or electrochemical actions, is the most common mechanism responsible for deterioration of reinforced concrete structures.
Two major factors cause corrosion of rebars in concrete structures, carbonation and ingress of chloride ions. When chloride ions penetrate in concrete more than the threshold value or when carbonation depth exceeds concrete cover, then it initiates the corrosion of reinforced concrete structures.
If corrosion is initiated in a concrete structure, it will surely progress if not treated, reducing dramatically its service life. As the corrosion penetrates, corrective measures become more complex and expensive, increasing the economic impact of the structure deterioration.
The TEM is based on electronic measurement of chemical reactions that reveal the penetration of corrosion inside the concrete.
The TEM sensor inserted into the concrete structure through a small hole, injects a solution and measures the half-cell potential with respect to a counter electrode of liquid junction of the type Cu/CuSO4 (sat. sol).
It analyses two parameters:
1. Chlorides concentration and distribution
2. Concrete pH and carbonation depth
The measurements of potential (mV) are translated into concentration values through calibration curves, specific for each sensor, obtained from laboratory measurements of standard reference.
The data, which can be acquired on data loggers with an adjustable time frequency, are transmitted to the portal that records the information and manages the alerts, via a GSM or WIFI modem, or directly through a USB serial port.
These images show some of the distribution maps of the potential values (mV) and of the corresponding concentrations of chlorine ions.
The maps, made using commercial software (eg Matlab, Surfer, Arch GIS) or open source (Q Gis), refer to measurements made on a block of concrete made for one half of the volume with distilled water and for the other half with saturated NaCl solution.
The maps show quite clearly the evolution over time of the phenomenon of migration, by diffusion, of the chloride ions in the capillary pores of the cement matrix, triggered by the initial concentration gradient.
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