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USM Scientist Develops an Effective Method to Detect Buildings With Cracks

The high frequency of buildings with cracks in Malaysia recently prompted a researcher from University Science Malaysia (USM) to successfully find a solution to the issue.

The researcher, Associate Professor R. Mani Maran, who is a lecturer from the Mechanical Engineering Research Centre said early measures could be taken to prevent cracks in building from deteriorating into bigger problems.

According to Mani Maran, the equipment can detect cracks or any changes in the concrete structures from the very beginning.

He added, the creation can even detect cracks as fine as 0.05 milimetre – the first such equipment developed by a local.

“A same type of product is available in the market – produced in Germany and the United States. But the existing products can only detect cracks larger than 0.5 milimetre. “But my creation is able to detect even finer cracks and can be owned by everyone – because the cost of production is very low,” he clarified.

Explaining further on the product, he said the crack detector used two plates and has a black circle which is able to exhibit a variety of patterns according to the types of cracks.

“The designs on the black circle could be recorded using digital camera and transferred onto a computer for results, using a software which will be provided with the product.

“The uniqueness of this product is it is able to give early warnings to building owners on the safety of a premise, in case of any cracks,” he said.

Mani Maran said any movement on the patterns which are imprinted on the black circle shows that there is movement in the building and thus, help building owners decide on follow-up actions before something untoward happens.

He added, the product has been further endorsed after it was declared the best creation by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia, under the building and construction category.

Mohamad Abdullah | ResearchSEA
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