New sensors to detect corrosion of reinforced concrete structures

Researchers at the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (UPV) have developed a new sensor system that quickly detects and nondestructively the risk of corrosion in the concrete structure of buildings, and do so when the first symptoms appear, notes a press release from UPV.


The information provided by the system, which has been patented by the UPV, is of particular significance for the safety of buildings. It allows necessary intervention well in advance, thereby reducing the costs of repairs and maintenance.


The system also incorporates a pulse voltammetry equipment, which identifies the intensity of corrosion at every point in the sensor network of the analyzed structure with a specific software to analysis the electrical response of each sensor.


Currently, the most common way to determine the rate of corrosion of reinforcement in a reinforced concrete structure is based on destructive techniques.


Advantages include reduction in the time and costs of the structure diagnosis. Additionally, it is also able to record in real time the condition and the rate of corrosion of reinforcements in various parts of the structure, even in inaccessible areas.


The system can be installed in both new works, and restoration interventions. In the first case, it must be incorporated when the concrete is poured in those areas of the structure most exposed to corrosion caused by the impact of moisture, carbon dioxide or chlorides, among others. In restoration projects, it allows non-destructive control and monitoring of the effectiveness of the repair.