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EP/J015938/1 - Measurement and characterisation of the electric stress field in geological and man-made materials (E-Stress)

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Dr A Aydin EP/J015938/1 - Measurement and characterisation of the electric stress field in geological and man-made materials (E-Stress)

Principal Investigator - Sch of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex

Scheme

First Grant Scheme

Research Areas

Sensors and Instrumentation Sensors and Instrumentation

Structural Engineering Structural Engineering

Collaborators

Plessey Semiconductors Ltd Plessey Semiconductors Ltd

NERC British Geological Survey NERC British Geological Survey

Start Date

07/2012

End Date

06/2014

Value

£97,166

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Grant Description

Summary and Description of the grant

The aim of this project is to investigate a new technique, using a unique sensor technology - the Electric Potential (EP) Sensor, invented at Sussex, for the measurement of electric field activity related to the build-up of stress in geological and man-made materials. This will result in a sensor design and the fabrication of a batch of EP sensors, capable of coupling to the electric field produced in a representative selection of rock and concrete samples. Choice of material and testing regimes will be advised from project partners and collaborators. The EP sensors will be used concurrently with strain gauges and acoustic emission sensors in bespoke acquisition and analysis instrumentation. Project partner, British Geological Survey (BGS), has committed the in-kind use of a state-of-the-art rock mechanics laboratory for all stress testing programmes. The sensor instrumentation system will correlate EP sensor outputs with stress and internal damage processes occurring in samples subjected to the rock testing system. The correlated EP sensor output is referred to as E-Stress. There is conclusive evidence that supports the existence of electrical activity in stressed rock and concrete however, the measurements made to date, by other workers, are of weak current signals at the pico to micro Amp level, a difficult measurement even in a laboratory environment. There is also evidence that various materials exhibit pre-fracture signal activity which can be of great importance to structural health and geoscience. The investigator has already published preliminary results that identify large (Volts) electric pre-fracture signals in a range of rock samples. This combination of a large available signal, an appropriate sensor, and expertise in the application of the technology, presents a unique opportunity with specific expert partners to develop a new measurement tool with predictive capability and insight to internal processes. To achieve these objectives the work packages will be:

WP1 - Initial planning meetings, consultations with BGS and Arup in materials to test. Trial tests at BGS for familiarisation and sensor instrument planning.

WP2 - Develop an EP sensor design capable of detecting electric field in both rock and concrete samples. The investigator has experience in applying EP sensors to couple to the electric signals produced in the diversity of rock and concrete under stress. The sensors will be integrated with strain gauge and an acoustic emissions system into one portable instrument using a high quality data acquisition and processing system. This system will also require work on software analysis of the signals for correlation.

WP3 - The application of the EP sensor and instrumentation within a rigorous material testing regime to destruction at BGS. Three testing programmes will be refined in consultation with partners and all data recorded to storage systems.

WP4 - Analysis and correlation to calibrate EP sensor as an E-Stress instrument for use in research and industry. Results will be disseminated and presented to international conferences and industry networks. Work will conclude by exploring the commercial opportunities with technology licensee, Plessey Semiconductors to fabricate custom sensors.

The work is novel and timely since the investigator's preliminary publication and interest from BGS. The results will be of direct interest to the project partners: Arup, for structural health monitoring (SHM) of civil infrastructure and to BGS, as a tool for monitoring natural hazards caused by rock fracture or slippage. There is a route to commercialisation through the support of Plessey Semiconductors.

Structured Data / Microdata


Grant Event Details:
Name: Measurement and characterisation of the electric stress field in geological and man-made materials (E-Stress) - EP/J015938/1
Start Date: 2012-07-01T00:00:00+00:00
End Date: 2014-06-30T00:00:00+00:00

Organization: University of Sussex

Description: The aim of this project is to investigate a new technique, using a unique sensor technology - the Electric Potential (EP) Sensor, invented at Sussex, for the measurement of electric field activity related to the build-up of stress in geological and man-mad ...