ConcrEITS: an electrical impedance interrogator for concrete damage detection using self-sensing repairs

Jack McAlorum, Marcus Perry, Andrew C. Ward, Christos Vlachakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


Concrete infrastructure requires continuous monitoring to ensure any new damage or repair failures are detected promptly. A cost-effective combination of monitoring and maintenance would be highly beneficial in the rehabilitation of existing infrastructure. Alkali-activated materials have been used as concrete repairs and as sensing elements for temperature, moisture, and chlorides. However, damage detection using self-sensing repairs has yet to be demonstrated, and commercial interrogation solutions are expensive. Here, we present the design of a low-cost tomographic impedance interrogator, denoted the "ConcrEITS", capable of crack detection and location in concrete using conductive repair patches. Results show that for pure material blocks ConcrEITS is capable of measuring 4-probe impedance with a root mean square error of ±5.4% when compared to a commercially available device. For tomographic measurements, ConcrEITS is able to detect and locate cracks in patches adhered to small concrete beam samples undergoing 4-point bending. In all six samples tested, crack locations were clearly identified by the contour images gained from tomographic reconstruction. Overall, this system shows promise as a cost-effective combined solution for monitoring and maintenance of concrete infrastructure. We believe further up-scaled testing should follow this research before implementing the technology in a field trial.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7081
Number of pages16
Issue number21
Early online date26 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2021


  • damage
  • concrete
  • repair
  • sensor
  • alkali-activated material
  • low-cost tomographic impedance interrogator
  • crack detection and location


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