Posted in | News

$286 Billion Transportation Legislation Includes Funds for Detection of Fatigue Cracks in Bridges

The United States Transportation Bill, also known as SAFETEA-LU, includes a $5 million allocation over four years for a program to test steel bridges using a non-destructive technology that is able to detect growing cracks, including subsurface flaws as small as 0.010 inches in length or depth, in the bridges.

This bill was recently signed into law by President Bush.

Material Technologies, Inc. of Los Angeles, CA has a technology known as the Electrochemical Fatigue Sensor (EFS), which meets the requirements of the new law.

The physics behind the EFS system actually requires that a crack be growing to be detected. Growing cracks are of vital concern to bridge engineers. The ability to determine the speed of crack propagation has been a problem that has eluded bridge engineers until now. The EFS system crack size detection and growth capabilities were examined through multiple experimental investigations by several academic and industrial institutions.

Demonstration tests of EFS on six bridges in various locations around the United States have been performed in the past year in parallel with other competing non-destructive testing technologies to prove that EFS could find small cracks which may go undetected by other testing methods. In fact, it was able to find a crack that a more conventional technology missed. As part of its ability to find growing cracks, EFS can also be used to validate the effectiveness of structural repairs by verifying that a crack, that was growing, is no longer growing following its remediation, with near 100% accuracy. It is the only known nondestructive evaluation system currently available to engineers that can provide such insight. From a public safety point of view it can identify those cracks that will, over time, pose risk of structural steel failure.

MATECH plans to work with departments of transportation of several states, developing plans to apply for funds available under the new law, which will be used to test a group of steel bridges with EFS in each of the states. "Our goal is to show that EFS can be very useful in finding small cracks at fatigue-critical locations, and at the same time rule out non-growing cracks, to make the best use of repair and maintenance funds," says Robert M. Bernstein, president of Material Technologies, Inc.

MATECH is engaged in the research and development of metal fatigue detection, measurement, and monitoring technologies. As such, the Company has developed a suite of devices for the non-destructive testing [NDT] of metal fatigue and monitoring of structural integrity. These technologies can be applied in virtually any industry in which metal is a significant structural component; i.e.: Bridges, Aerospace, Turbine Engines, Oil & Gas, Construction, Shipping, etc.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.