Concrete is Getting an IoT Makeover

‘Don’t step on a crack, or you’ll break your mother’s back.’ Cracks, streets, buildings and bridges are getting a makeover with the Internet of Things. Currently, road construction takes much longer than it should because once they start, other things are found that need to be fixed. With the use of smart cement, timelines can go much quicker, saving money in the long run.

Simply placing smart sensors in the cement would compromise the strength of it. At the University of Houston, Cumaraswamy Vipulanandan, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, researched ways around this. Instead, one can place sensing-type materials, that weigh less than 0.1% of the total weight, into the mixture. These materials enhance the cement using nanotechnology.

“Currently, how do you know cement is setting? You don’t know. With smart cement, you can monitor it,” said Vipulanandan. Vipulanandan received $2.6 million from the Department of Energy to further enhance his findings.

Smart cement can alert when it is going to crack or is weaker in areas. This will prevent bridges from collapsing, extend the lifespan of buildings and make construction move quicker. Generations from now, children won’t be chanting ‘you’ll break your mother’s back’, because cracks will be fixed proactively.

Andrea Massimilian

Andrea Massimilian is the Multi-Channel Marketing Manager at ClearObject. Andrea came to the company after graduating from the University of Dayton and completing two years in the prestigious Orr Fellowship. A patron of the arts, more specifically musical theatre and all things Harry Potter related (#always), Andrea can usually be found exploring Indy’s cultural events including local theatre, film festivals, food festivals and everything in between.

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