EUREKA project E! 2579 GEODETECT has developed an effective and totally novel product for detecting soil subsidence – vital for avoiding costly damage to buildings and infrastructures. Since its development the product has been installed in parts of the French railway system and also around the world in key supporting structures such as bridges and embankments.
Existing monitoring systems for subsidence depend on visual inspection; but by the time visual assessment can be made, the damage is well advanced and repair is costly. Subsidence is a particular problem for railways, where even a few millimetres’ change in track level could have disastrous results, particularly for the coming European high-speed rail network. Damage repair or alternative structural solutions, like building reinforced bridges at critical locations liable to subsidence, both present very high costs.
The GEODETECT project set out to add a sensory system to an existing material called geotextile. This is a non-woven, fibrous matting made of high-strength polypropylene fibres, reinforced with high-strength polyester yarns. With its high mechanical strength, resistance to mechanical and chemical damage and long life, the geotextile matting was already used without sensors as the foundation for roadbuilding, where it reinforces the soil beneath the gravel layers and gives it added strength. Dr Alain Nancey of project partner Bidim Geosynthetics explains: “Adding sensors linked by optical fibres into the geotextile enables hundreds of them to be installed quickly into the ground, in a critical area where there is risk of collapse. If a cavity appears in the soil under the geotextile, the resulting lengthening of the fibre in the matting will be detected by the sensors and be relayed to the monitoring system. In the case of a railway, for example, the affected track section can then be isolated and repaired quickly before real damage is done.”
The two partners involved in the project were Bidim Geosynthetics from France (now part of Tencate Geosynthetics), and IDFOS (now FOS&S) from Belgium which had already been involved in monitoring the structural soundness of buildings and bridges.
The GEODETECT product has been of great interest to the French national railway company SNCF, and has already been put into use in a section of railway line in mid-France. The project has also led to the development of small geodetect strips, in contrast to the original 5-metre-wide rolls, which can be inserted into built structures like retaining walls, dams and embankment reinforcements. These have been used in about 15 critical locations throughout the world. Further opportunities are opening for the large-scale matting, particularly with the building or conversion of railways to take high-speed trains.
Sally Horspool | alfa
A promising target in the quest for a 1-million-year-old Antarctic ice core
24.05.2018 | University of Washington
Tropical Peat Swamps: Restoration of Endangered Carbon Reservoirs
24.05.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences