When not properly maintained or inspected, a bridge can be extremely dangerous to those who use it, but now a group of University of Strathclyde engineers have created a crack-detecting paint that can alert maintenance people of microscopic damage in large structures.
Made from recycled waste products, this crack-detecting paint has a quality similar to concrete. To work, the paint must be combined with wireless sensors (electrodes), which can detect the changes in the structure's conductivity map that cause minute cracks. In addition, the sensors can reveal weakness and corrosion. Explains engineer Dr. Mohamed Saafi, "The electrodes connected to the paint act almost like the nerves in the human body."
The benefit of the crack-detecting paint is that is less costly than other fault-detecting methods, such as human inspection. So far, the engineers are testing out a prototype of the paint on a bridge, wind turbine and underground tunnel near Glasgow, says Wired UK.
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