A wireless system for crack monitoring in concrete structures

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A wireless system for crack monitoring in concrete structures

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University of Northern Iowa
UNI ScholarWorks

Dissertations and Theses @ UNI

Student Work

2011
A wireless system for crack monitoring in concrete structures
Souhail M. Saad University of Northern Iowa

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Copyright ©2011 Souhail M. Saad Follow this and additional works at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/etd
Part of the Structural Engineering Commons
Recommended Citation Saad, Souhail M., "A wireless system for crack monitoring in concrete structures" (2011). Dissertations and Theses @ UNI. 633. https://scholarworks.uni.edu/etd/633
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A WIRELESS SYSTEM FOR CRACK MONITORING IN CONCRETE STRUCTURES
An Abstract of a Thesis Submitted
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Science
Souhail M. Saad University of Northern Iowa
May 2011

ABSTRACT The formation of cracks in concrete is a normal phenomenon. However, effective control and prevention of the formation of cracks is the key for successful life of concrete structures. Specifically, cracks represent a path of least resistance for moisture and corrosive ionic agents from de-icing salts to reach embedded steel in concrete. Commercial wireless sensor networks utilizing crack gauge sensors can be applied for crack monitoring in the common concrete structure. The crack sensors circuits' boards, which are used to stimulate the cracks, are currently unavailable for the SG-Link module platform. The SG-Link module is an ultra-low-power module for use in sensor networks, monitoring applications and rapid application prototyping. Therefore, a crack sensor circuit board for the SG-Link module platform has been developed. The development of a smart wireless sensor network for the crack monitoring system is divided into four parts: a crack gauge sensor, signal conditioning, the SG-Link module, and a base station unit. The signal conditioning module consists of a crack gauge sensor, a wheatstone bridge, an amplifier, and a filter. The SG-Link module consists of an analog to digital converter (ADC), a microcontroller unit (MCU), and a transmitter with an antenna. The base station unit includes an antenna and a receiver module connected to the base station or computer. In this study, cracks are monitored based on the change of the electrical resistance between the sensor's two terminals that are taken from the simulation model of the crack sensor board consisting of a crack gauge sensor and signal conditioning. This thesis looked at the effectiveness of a wireless system for crack monitoring in concrete structures. Tests were conducted in a laboratory to monitor the cracks in the structures and explore the validity and reliability of the monitoring mechanism and data transmission.

Keywords: crack propagation, concrete structure monitoring, wireless structural health monitoring system

A WIRELESS SYSTEM FOR CRACK MONITORING IN CONCRETE STRUCTURES
A Thesis Submitted In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science
Souhail M. Saad University of Northern Iowa
May 2011

UMI Number: 1498896
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This Study by: Souhail M. Saad
Entitled: A WIRELESS SYSTEM FOR CRACK MONITORING IN CONCRETE STRUCTURES
has been approved as meeting the thesis requirement for the Degree of Master of Science - Construction Management

Date

Dr. M. D. Salim, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date

Dr. Nageswara Rao Posinasetti, Thesis Committee Member

Date

Dr. Tim Strauss, Thesis Committee Member

Date

Dr. Michael J. Licari, Dean, Graduate College

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I owe an enormous debt to my advisor Dr. M.D. Salim, for his support, guidance, expertise, motivation and unique taste for research, without which my master's thesis would certainly not have been born. I am truly grateful for all the wonderful opportunities he has provided me. I would like to thank the rest of my committee members: Dr. Nageswara Rao Posinasetti and Dr. Tim Strauss. All of their input into this research is greatly appreciated. I am also grateful to Dr. Jin Zhu for her input.
My wife, Rimaz, and our children, Moussa and Siraj, make every day a joy. My Wife's selflessness and willingness to help other people is a great inspiration. She is always there to help me through the difficult days of research and kept me motivated to get things right the next day.
My family has been a wonderful resource of encouragement and love throughout my graduate work. They always seem to share some insightful wisdom and advice at the times I need it most.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF FIGURES CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION
Statement of the Problem Statement of Purpose Statement of Need Statement of Research Hypothesis Statement of the Research Questions Assumptions Delimitations Definition of Terms CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW Structural Health Monitoring System Overview Wireless Health Monitoring System Wireless Communication Technology for WSHMs Available Wiresless Sensor Platforms Commercial Wireless Sensor Platforms Existing Technologies for Crack Detection CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY Wireless Sensor Network
Node Radio

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Crack MonitoringStructuresCracksThesisCrack Gauge Sensor