Campus Units

Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE)

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2018

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Proceedings of SPIE



First Page


Research Focus Area

Structural Engineering



Conference Title

SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring

Conference Date

March 4-8, 2018


Denver, CO


Recent advances in the fields of nanocomposite technologies have enabled the development of highly scalable, low-cost sensing solution for civil infrastructures. This includes two sensing technologies, recently proposed by the authors, engineered for their high scalability, low-cost and mechanical simplicity. The first sensor consists of a smart-cementitious material doped with multi-wall carbon nanotubes, which has been demonstrated to be suitable for monitoring its own deformations (strain) and damage state (cracks). Integrated to a structure, this smart cementitious material can be used for detecting damage or strain through the monitoring of its electrical properties. The second sensing technology consists of a sensing skin developed from a flexible capacitor that is mounted externally onto the structure. When deployed in a dense sensor network configuration, these large area sensors are capable of covering large surfaces at low cost and can monitor both strain- and crack-induced damages. This work first presents a comparison of the capabilities of both technologies for crack detection in a concrete plate, followed by a fusion of sensor data for increased damage detection performance. Experimental results are conducted on a 50 50 5 cm3 plate fabricated with smart concrete and equipped with a dense sensor network of 20 large area sensors. Results show that both novel technologies are capable of increased damage localization when used concurrently.


This proceeding is published as Austin Downey, Antonella D'Alessandro, Filippo Ubertini, Simon Laflamme, "Crack detection in RC structural components using a collaborative data fusion approach based on smart concrete and large-area sensors," Proc. SPIE 10598, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2018, 105983B (27 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2296695. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)



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