Table of Contents
Smart Materials Research
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 932568, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/932568
Research Article

Nondestructive Wireless Monitoring of Early-Age Concrete Strength Gain Using an Innovative Electromechanical Impedance Sensing System

Applied Mechanics Lab, Department of Applied Sciences, Technical University of Crete, 73100 Chania, Greece

Received 1 March 2013; Accepted 22 March 2013

Academic Editor: Kong Ling Bing

Copyright © 2013 C. P. Providakis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Monitoring the concrete early-age strength gain at any arbitrary time from a few minutes to a few hours after mixing is crucial for operations such as removal of frameworks, prestress, or cracking control. This paper presents the development and evaluation of a potential active wireless USB sensing tool that consists of a miniaturized electromechanical impedance measuring chip and a reusable piezoelectric transducer appropriately installed in a Teflon-based enclosure to monitor the concrete strength development at early ages and initial hydration states. In this study, the changes of the measured electromechanical impedance signatures as obtained by using the proposed sensing system during the whole early-age concrete hydration process are experimentally investigated. It is found that the proposed electromechanical impedance (EMI) sensing system associated with a properly defined statistical index which evaluates the rate of concrete strength development is very sensitive to the strength gain of concrete structures from their earliest stages.