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Proceedings Paper

Monitoring corrosion in reinforced concrete structures
Author(s): Peter Kung; Maria I. Comanici
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Paper Abstract

Many defects can cause deterioration and cracks in concrete; these are results of poor concrete mix, poor workmanship, inadequate design, shrinkage, chemical and environmental attack, physical or mechanical damage, and corrosion of reinforcing steel (RS). We want to develop a suite of sensors and systems that can detect that corrosion is taking place in RS and inform owners how serious the problem is. By understanding the stages of the corrosion process, we can develop special a sensor that detects each transition. First, moisture ingress can be monitored by a fiber optics humidity sensor, then ingress of Chloride, which acts as a catalyst and accelerates the corrosion process by converting iron into ferrous compounds. We need a fiber optics sensor which can quantify Chloride ingress over time. Converting ferric to ferrous causes large volume expansion and cracks. Such pressure build-up can be detected by a fiber optic pressure sensor. Finally, cracks emit acoustic waves, which can be detected by a high frequency sensor made with phase-shifted gratings. This paper will discuss the progress in our development of these special sensors and also our plan for a field test by the end of 2014. We recommend that we deploy these sensors by visually inspecting the affected area and by identifying locations of corrosion; then, work with the designers to identify spots that would compromise the integrity of the structure; finally, drill a small hole in the concrete and insert these sensors. Interrogation can be done at fixed intervals with a portable unit.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 June 2014
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9113, Sensors for Extreme Harsh Environments, 91130E (5 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2048828
Show Author Affiliations
Peter Kung, QPS Photronics Inc. (Canada)
Maria I. Comanici, McGill Univ. (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9113:
Sensors for Extreme Harsh Environments
Debbie G. Senesky; Sachin Dekate, Editor(s)

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