Passive Sensors for Detecting Corrosion in Concrete Structures

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Title: Passive Sensors for Detecting Corrosion in Concrete Structures

Author(s): Ali E. Abu Yosef, Praveenkumar Pasupathy, Sharon L. Wood, and Dean P. Neikirk

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 291

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 1-16

Keywords: corrosion detection; embedded sensors; exposure tests; inductively coupling; passive sensors; reinforced concrete.

Date: 3/29/2013

Abstract:
This paper describes a prototype passive sensor that can be powered and interrogated in a wireless manner to monitor the conditions inside structural concrete members. The term “passive” is used because the sensors do not include any on-board processing capabilities or sources of power (batteries). The sensors are designed to be embedded in the concrete during construction and interrogated sporadically over the life of the structure. The response of an embedded sensor is determined by measuring the impedance of an external reader coil that is magnetically coupled to the sensor. To date, the research has focused on detecting the initiation of corrosion within concrete structures. Accelerated corrosion tests were used to evaluate the reliability of the passive sensors. Sensors were embedded in reinforced concrete prisms and successfully detected the onset of corrosion in the reinforcement. Unlike the traditional measurements, such as half-cell potentials, the passive sensor readings did not fluctuate with changes in the temperature or moisture content of the concrete.