Smart Sensor Allows for Quick, Real-time Strength Data

Flood Testing Laboratories long ago bought into the maturity method, eliminating the need for concrete cylinder break tests. However, the tools available to monitor concrete maturity haven’t always met their needs.

“We’ve been using the maturity method to monitor in-place concrete strength since 1985. The issue has been that we need something that is rugged enough in the field that will withstand the construction atmosphere but also as minimally noticeable as possible,” explains Walt Flood III, principal engineer at Flood Testing Labs. “We’ve tried to minimize the exposure of the sensor to workman so that it doesn’t get in the way. Their operation is going to be the more important operation even though they probably don’t realize how critical the sensors are.”

The Chicago-based construction materials tester has tried many different sensors and tools over the years to combat this issue, from sensors that require you to leave an instrument in the field to monitor data to a wired sensor to a sensor that required a special instrument to download its data.

About four years ago, Flood Testing began a transition to Giatec’s SmartRock wireless temperature and strength sensor. They now exclusively utilize the smart sensor, having used about 3,000 to 4,000 sensors over that time period.

SmartRock is a rugged, mobile-based wireless sensor that is fully embedded in fresh concrete to monitor its in-place temperature and strength during construction. These sensors are installed in the concrete formwork (on the rebar) before pouring to monitor in-situ temperature and maturity according to ASTM C1074. While the logger continuously records the measured temperature of any concrete pour in real time, these results can be analyzed automatically onsite to determine the in-place concrete strength using the free SmartRock app (available for both Android/iOS mobile devices.)

The sensor has been used in a wide range of applications, including:

Formwork removal timing
Post-tensioning
Optimizing curing conditions
Saw cutting
Controlling quality in the field
Monitoring temperature gradients in mass concrete
Opening roads to traffic
Flood Testing Labs primarily uses the sensors to ensure quick turnaround time on tensioning strength for post-tension structures. They’ve also used them to monitor max temperature differentials in mass concrete applications.

The biggest benefits SmartRock offers Flood Testing Lab over other technology they’ve used in the past is there small size and wireless capability, which allows them to bury the sensors in the concrete with no wires sticking out.

“Workers don’t have to be careful around them,” notes Flood.

The other benefit for Flood Testing Lab is the ability to access information on the sensors from any smart device through Giatec’s mobile app, meaning they don’t require a special instrument or piece of equipment to read.

“Sometimes we have 6 to 8 projects going all at once where we would need 6 to 8 read-out devices to be able to read the sensors. This has been a very simple solution for us and saves a lot of cost on read-out devices that you would otherwise need,” says Flood.

The elimination of special equipment to read the sensors also gives contractors the ability to read the results.

“We have certain contractors who are actually interested in what the values are, and they have the ability to read the results from their phones because we share the information,” says Flood. “Most of the contractors would rather have you monitor the sensors, but now they have the ability.”

Related Articles

Innovation Happens Here – Sustainable Development Technology Canada – Technologies du Développement Durable Canada

📍 Based in Ottawa, ON, Giatec | Smart Construction Solutions is revolutionizing the concrete industry by reducing CO2 emissions. Find out more about their origin story! 🎓 No surprise, being a tech leader, that the story of Giatec begins with lots and lots of schooling. Co-founders Pouria Ghods and Aali R. Alizadeh both have their Ph.D. and P.Eng. degrees! ☕️ In 2010, the idea of starting a company invested in creating concrete testing technologies came to fruition at a Bridgehead Coffee House in Ottawa, Ontario, and Giatec | Smart Construction Solutions was born. 🌎 Now, Giatec employs over 70 individuals and their…

The SmartHub 24/7 Concrete Remote Monitoring System

Sync concrete temperature and strength data collected from your SmartRock wireless sensor to your mobile device.   Giatec’s newest generation of their SmartHub remote monitoring device works in conjunction with the company’s SmartRock wireless sensors for accurate concrete temperature, temperature differential, and strength monitoring. With this system, concrete temperature and strength data collected from your SmartRock wireless sensor is automatically synced to your mobile device, eliminating the need for you to be on the jobsite. Giatec says this combined technology can reduce labor costs and speed up a project by days, even…

Hot Weather & The Mass Concrete Pour

Challenges with concrete can affect any type of structure built during hot weather conditions. However, additional considerations need to be taken into account for mass concrete elements.   Summer can be the busiest time for the construction industry. Not only do the summer months provide the chance to get a lot done, but it also helps you avoid the challenges that come with cold weather concreting, like the freezing of concrete at early stages. However, hot weather concreting places several risks to the strength and durability…

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience, analyze site traffic and assist in our marketing efforts. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy Page.