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EMBEDDED CORROSION INSTRUMENT: FOR NON-DESTRUCTIVE EVALUATION OF STEEL-REINFORCED CONCRETE

The Embedded Corrosion Instrument – ECI – is an electronic corrosion sensor that provides early warning of conditions that damage steel reinforcement, leading to cracking, spalling, and other deterioration of concrete structures. By monitoring five key factors in corrosion, and by communicating these through a digital network, the ECI provides comprehensive, real-time information on structural conditions. This helps facilities managers to avert crises, save money on maintenance, and build a detailed record on each structure.

The ECI is designed to monitor bridges, buildings, dams, erosion control structures, flood control channels, parking garages, piers, pylons, roadways, and spillways. A non-destructive evaluation (NDE) device, it gathers and delivers all data without requiring inspectors to cut samples, interrupt use of a structure, or even visit the site.

The ECI monitors five key factors in corrosion – linear polarization resistance, open circuit potential, resistivity, choloride ion concentration, and temperature. This provides more comprehensive data than prior generations of corrosion monitors. It also reveals correlations among the causes and signs of corrosion, yielding a fuller, more certain picture of the threat.

The ECI integrates processing electronics with its sensors, and so can use digital, rather than analog communications. This eliminates data corruption by electro-magnetic interference from power lines, radio waves, and cellular telephones. Digital technology also makes it possible to connect multiple ECI monitors to a single datalogger, saving potentially tens of thousands of dollars in support electronics per project.

With these advances, the ECI has earned success and acclaim around the world. It has been integrated into a wide range of structures, in regions as diverse as Australia, Singapore, and the United States. It has gained media coverage in Better Roads Magazine, the MIT Technology Review, and other leading publications. For its development of the ECI, Virginia Technologies won the Breakthrough Award from the Virginia Piedmont Technology Council.

Virginia Technologies sells the Embedded Corrosion Instrument through distributors world-wide.

• To locate a distributor in your area, or to enquire about purchasing the ECI system, please click here.

• To enquire about becoming an ECI distributor, please click here.

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