Dams

New tool will give large concrete structures what amounts to an ultrasound, finding tiny cracks before they grow

A researcher measures the width of a crack in a reinforced concrete column after testing the strength of the column. A new project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency will develop a field-deployable tool to detect cracks far smaller than this — and inside rather than outside — thick reinforced concrete structures. (Photo: Chris Kiser)

Imagine giving large concrete structures something similar to an ultrasound and getting images so detailed you can see cracks just a tenth of a millimeter long. That level of detail just isn’t possible now. Yet such capability could revolutionize how engineers assess the health of thick reinforced concrete infrastructure like dams and power plants and bridges.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Fritz leads survey team to examine dam breaks after South Carolina flooding

A team of scientists led by the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s Hermann Fritz has just returned from a four-day reconnaissance mission in South Carolina assessing damage after record-breaking rainfall flooded large swaths of the state. They found several of the dams they inspected failed before they were overtopped by water.

Friday, October 16, 2015
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