December 17, 2017 – Smarter materials are coming to the construction jobsite.
Across the globe, government mandates regarding construction standards and safety of structures is leading to an uptake in structural health monitoring. Now, contractors need to determine how new technologies and materials will change how work is performed at the jobsite.
Structural monitoring on the rise
One way structures are becoming more intelligent is by implementing low-cost wireless sensors to monitor infrastructure. Construction is at the forefront of this.
Geographically, areas that are earthquake prone such as Indonesia and Japan are seeing an uptick in this technology. The United States is experiencing some growth as well, due to a rapidly aging infrastructure.
One of the challenges holding back widespread adoption of this type of system is the high cost of installation of the sensors. However, the development of new and innovative solutions in the next few years will likely help overcome this challenge.
Another method is simply to use smarter, self-healing materials in construction. These next-gen materials can potentially replace conventional materials in both structural and nonstructural applications. They can also be used alongside traditional materials for value-added features and benefits.
The good news is these self-healing materials have been gaining quite a bit of momentum as of late, but adoption is still in the very early stages. This means it is critical for both technology developers and the construction community to understand the different types of self-healing materials and how they will act once construction is complete.
Either way, infrastructure is getting smarter due to the technologies and materials that are being used during construction.
Print this page