Proven protection in reinforced steel


© Fraunhofer IMS
The security and surveillance system detects damages on reinforced concrete constructions at an early stage.

According to the Federal Ministry of Transportation, 6,000 out of 39,000 of Germany’s bridges for long-distance traffic are ailing. Older bridges in particular do not meet today’s requirements and are a potential risk due to the year of their construction and the technical standards at that time. Regarding the current situation, the Fraunhofer IMS has, together with the two companies BS2-Sicherheitssysteme GmbH and Baustoffüberwachung BÜW GmbH, brought a simple and robust security and surveillance system to market as part of a partnership project in 2014. The centerpiece of this development is sensors from the think tank of the “Wireless & Transponders Systems” business unit of the Fraunhofer IMS. These sensors detect corrosion in reinforced steel at an early stage because of invasive ions. Chipped concrete and cracks in the outer skin can be an indicator that it is already too late. A cost-efficient remediation for the construction issue is in many cases no longer possible. By detecting damage in time with sensors from the IMS, huge saving can be achieved, because at an early stage of corrosion, a cost-effective sealing can protect the construction for a longer period of time. These smart sensors are directly set in concrete into the specific component. The data is read out periodically and routinely during maintenance via RFID technology.