Structural Health Monitoring is a very crucial concept that has been applied through decades for the accurate and safe working of all that we see around. From constructing tall buildings to the long highway bridges to even the ancient forts and tombs, everything needs to be monitored with tailor-made plans, accuracy and reliability to ensure the long-life of the structures.
We have built large structures like dams, tunnels, power plants, skyscrapers and much more with the help of technological advances and science. Essentially made to make our life easier, these structures need to be taken care of lest they result in a tragedy. Since these structures stand to fail over a minor issue, it is important to give it an in-depth and minute look to ensure the complete reliability of the constructions.
In this article, we will be talking about structural health monitoring, its advantages, and the seamless and stable instrumentation and monitoring solutions offered by Encardio-rite.
Let’s get started.
What is Structural Health Monitoring?
Let’s circle back to the basics and brush up our knowledge about structural health monitoring. An integral part of geotechnical monitoring, Structural Health refers to the structure’s performance; either before, during, or after construction. This is essentially carried out to gauge the construction site as well as the nearby asset, ensuring nothing shall be harmed during the process.
Structural Health Monitoring aims to provide the structure with a diagnosis, assuring it remains in the domain specified in the design while understanding the full history database of the structure. The damage here is defined in the terms of changes in material, geometric properties, boundary conditions, system connectivity, and anything else which affects the performance.
SHM entails observing the system over a long time with the help of geotechnical sensors, observing the measurements, and extracting the damage-sensitive features to ascertain the current state of system health.
Structural Health Monitoring is extremely important to avoid any mishaps and sudden failures and accidents, including monitoring the construction site as well as the nearby area and assets. A well-monitored plan helps to identify the early warnings, leading to a safer environment with fewer accidents.
Encardio-rite provides multiple monitoring services along with state-of-the-art geotechnical instruments.
Let’s take a look at the various advantages of Structural Health Monitoring.
Advantages of Structural Health Monitoring
Structural health monitoring (SHM) is critical because:
- Allows you to identify the critical and warning signs and convey it to the concerned authorities before it becomes a casualty.
- It prevents the loss of human life as well as property.
- Keeps you prepared for any sudden failure that might be fatal otherwise.
- It protects the areas and structures in close vicinity to the construction site.
- It reduces the long-term and short-term costs related to structural maintenance.
- It helps to understand the future behaviour of the structure and plan the maintenance programs accordingly.
- Structural health monitoring helps to determine the effects of natural calamities such as earthquake, flooding etc. on the structure.
- It allows you to compare the observed data with design assumptions.
- It helps you to determine the effect of the operation on parameters such as stress, strain, water, pressure, inclination, deflection, and water seepage.
Instrumentation & Monitoring Solutions for Structural Health Monitoring
Encardio-rite offers multiple Instrumentation and Monitoring Solutions for SHM during, before, and after the construction phase.
Let’s take a look at them.
1. Data Loggers
When it comes to data loggers, Encardio-rite is one of the few organizations in the world that offers both; GSM/GPRS and wireless system technologies.
They are essentially an electronic device which records the data continuously with the help of an in-built instrument or through an interfaced one. The longevity of the operation of the data logger is dependent on the backup and memory capacity. Encardio-rite offers battery-operated devices which can be set to record data from 5 to 168 seconds in the linear mood. They also come with a power supply option.
Piezometer, also known as pore water pressure meter is a geotechnical instrument employed to monitor and determine the pore pressure in standpipes, boreholes, embankments, rolled-earth fills, and interface of retaining structures.
These are extremely essential devices as it draws attention to the potentially dangerous situations that may have an adverse effect on the structure, foundation, and appurtenant.
As a world-leader in manufacturing and supplying the geotechnical instrument, Encardio-rite offers electric piezometers, hydraulic piezometers, pneumatic piezometers, vibrating wire piezometers, and much more.
Coming to another geotechnical instrument that is largely used for structures like retaining/diaphragm walls, piles, etc, an inclinometer is utilised for the purpose of measuring the magnitude of inclination or tilt and its variation with time.
The collection of Encardio-rite’s Inclinometer includes Digital Inclinometer System, Vertical In-Place Inclinometer System, Wireless In-place Inclinometer, and Inclinometer Settlement System. They also deal with the most advanced MEMS Digital Inclinometer Systems in the world.
4. Tiltmeters & Beam Sensors
Tiltmeter is used to monitor vertical rotation, deflection, & deformation of the diaphragm and retaining walls.
Encardio-rite’s Series of Electrolytic Uniaxial Tiltmeters are employed for the monitoring of small changes in inclination & vertical rotation of structure. On the other hand, they also provide warning signs of deformations, thereby giving the concerned authorities enough time for corrective action to take place.
The Portable Tiltmeter is used for the monitoring of critical buildings, structures, utilities, etc that are situated within proximity of the construction zone. Similarly, Encardio-rite offers an extensive range of tiltmeters that are used for various monitoring purposes.
5. Strain Gauge
Strain Gauges are employed as one of the most important geotechnical sensors that are used for the measurement of strain in underground cavities, buildings, tunnels, concrete, bridges, masonry, dams, embedment in soil/concrete, bridges, etc.
The Strain Gauge works on the principle of using an insulation flexible metallic foil backing. It is then attached to the object using an adhesive to measure the stress. Any deformation in the object leads to the foil getting distorted, hence changing the electrical resistivity of the soil.
Apart from measuring the strain in concrete, rock and steel constructions, they are also used to estimate the stress distribution in the supporting ribs of underground cavities and tunnels. They are also used to measure the stress in concrete and masonry dams, pressure shafts, and concrete piles, etc.
Encardio-rite offers some of the most accurate, robust, low cost, reliable, and stable strain gauges in the market. Made from stainless steel, it surely is long-lasting, enduring, and versatile. They are also compatible to be paired with other accessories.
6. Pressure Cells
Pressure Cells, as the name suggests, are used for the measurement of total pressure in earth fills, embankment, and on the surface of retaining walls, building, bridge abutments, etc. They can also be used to gauge the stress in mass concrete.
Encardio-rite offers six different types of Pressure Cells including Concrete Pressure Cell, Soil and Rock-Concrete Interface Pressure Cell, Jack Out Pressure Cell, Earth Soil Pressure Cell, and Shotcrete-Concrete Stress Cell.
Extensometers are widely used in the civil engineer world as they are designed for the measurement of the deformation of the rock mass and adjacent/surrounding soil.
Encardio-rite offers a range of Extensometers ranging from Electrical, Magnetic, Digital, to Mechanical Extensometers as well.
Apart from this, Encardio-rite also offers Online cloud-based web data monitoring service, Laser Scanning, Aerial Mapping using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV/Drone), and Automatic 3D deformation monitoring system.
This brings us to the end of our blog on Structural Health Monitoring. Hope you found this helpful and informative. For such articles, keep watching this space.