ACM TechNews

‘Talking’ Concrete Could Help Prevent Traffic Jams, Cut Carbon Emissions

From beneath a concrete pour, this black circular sensor transmits data about the concrete’s strength levels through a cord plugged into an above-ground handheld device called a data logger.

Credit: Rebecca McElhoe/Purdue University

U.S. interstates are preparing to test sensors developed by Purdue University researchers that could help prevent congestion and lower carbon emissions.

The sensors enable concrete pavement to relay data about its strength and repair requirements to engineers, forgoing the need to test samples; this should reduce construction time and repair frequency while cutting emissions from vehicles waiting to bypass construction sites.

The devices communicate to engineers through a smartphone application when the pavement is sufficiently strong to tolerate heavy traffic.

More than half of U.S. states with concrete interstate pavement will deploy the sensors as part of a Federal Highway Administration study, with Indiana and Texas already testing them in highway paving projects.

The WaveLogix company will manufacture the technology for commercialization as the REBEL Concrete Strength Sensing System.

From Purdue University News
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