This sensor promises to prevent traffic jams and curb carbon emissions
Purdue University recently achieved a milestone in creating a technology that could replace traditional construction methods. This invention can reduce road traffic delays and save millions of taxpayer dollars.
A sensor enabling concrete to talk
Researcher Luna's research was focused on improving the concrete pavement conditions first, as it is the most difficult thing to repair.
So she developed a sensor that allows the concrete to speak. It results in less construction time and improves pavement repairs. On top of that, it is improving the road's sustainability and cutting carbon emissions.
It is embedded directly into the concrete pour, sending enhanced and consistent data to engineers. It tells engineers about the concrete strength and whether it needs repair.
U.S states are ready to try this new invention
More than half of the U.S. states are set to implement such sensors. The states include Missouri, Kansas, Tennessee, Colorado, North Dakota, California, and Utah. More conditions are expected to join the study in the upcoming months.
Indiana and Texas have already begun to try taking concrete sensors in their highway paving projects.
This invention is on track to become a hit in the market as the REBEL Concrete Strength System. Also, Fast Company magazine named this technology one of its Next Big Things in Tech for 2022. The 2021 Report Card for America's Infrastructure also chose this invention as one of its "Gamechangers" for the year.
No longer have to rely on concrete samples
Lu and her team started creating this invention in 2017 when the Indiana Department Of Transportation asked for help eliminating the premature breakdown of freshly restored concrete pavement.
Large concrete samples must be tested at a lab or on-site facility according to methods utilized by the sector for more than a century. Engineers calculate the specific concrete mix's strength level after being poured and given time to develop at a construction site using that data.
Engineers can estimate when fresh concrete is mature enough without relying on concrete samples with this technology. Instead, they can monitor the new concrete and measure its properties simultaneously. The sensor tells the engineers via an app when the pavement is strong enough to handle the traffic.
Workers can install them by tossing them onto the ground of the concrete and covering them with concrete. The sensor cable is plugged into a reusable handheld gadget, immediately logging data. For as long as the strength data is needed, workers can access real-time updates on changes in concrete strength using the app.
Cutting down carbon emissions
With this cutting-edge technology, traffic congestion caused by road repairs could be a thing of the past. Commuters would benefit from reduced frustration levels and faster journeys, and CO2 emissions due to stalled vehicles waiting for construction sites will also decrease significantly.
Lu's startup, WaveLogix, is revolutionizing how we approach carbon emissions. Their innovative solution seeks to cut down on cement utilized in concrete mixes as its production accounts for an impressive 8% of our global carbon footprint!
Combining artificial intelligence and sensors that collect data from highways across America, they are working hard to optimize the design process - paving a greener future ahead.
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