Article Article
Electrical Resistance Tomography Based Sensing Skin with Internal Electrodes for Crack Detection in Large Structures: Preliminary Results Standard Difference Imaging Study

This paper outlines the extension of Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT) based sensing skin technology for detecting cracking patterns in full-scale reinforced concrete structural elements. The sensing skin consists of a thin layer of conductive film that is applied to the surface of a structure. Cracking results in a local reduction of electrical conductivity of the sensing skin, enabling detection of cracking with ERT. As the size of the sensing skin increases, however, the resolution of sensing skin for detecting small cracks diminishes. In the present paper, we overcome this limitation of sensing skin with the use of internal electrodes. We applied a sensing skin equipped with four internal electrodes to a reinforced concrete beam with overall dimensions of 4.5 m × 1.0 m × 0.3 m where the 4.0 m × 1.0 m surface of the beam was equipped with the sensing skin. Cracking was induced in the beam using four-point bending. The large area sensing skin successfully detected cracking at different stages of loading. The results also indicate that in the absence of internal electrodes, detecting the cracking pattern in the large sensing skin was not feasible.




  • Adler A., and Lionheart W.R.B. Uses and abuses of EIDORS: an extensible software base for EIT, Physiological Measurement, 27, IOP Publishing, 2006, S25.
  • Aguilar G., Matamoros A.B., Parra-Montesinos G.J., Ramirez J.A., and Wight J.K. Experimental evaluation of design procedures for shear strength of deep reinforced concrete beams, ACI Structural Journal, 99, American Concrete Institute, 2002, 539-549.
  • Baltopoulos A., Polydorides A., Pambaguian L., Vavouliotis A., and Kostopoulos V. Damage identification in carbon fiber reinforced polymer plates using electrical resistance tomography mapping, Journal of Composite Materials, 47, SAGE Journals, 2012, DOI: 10.1177/0021998312464079.
  • Cheng K.S., Isaacson D., Newell J.C., and Gisser D.G. Electrode models for electric current computed tomography, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 36, IEEE Xplore, 1989, 918-924.
  • Glisic B., and Inaudi D. Fiber optic methods for structural health monitoring, John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
  • Hallaji M., and Pour-Ghaz M. A new sensing skin for qualitative damage detection in concrete elements: Rapid difference imaging with electrical resistance tomography, NDT & E International, 68, Elsevier, 2014, 13-21.
  • Hallaji M., Seppänen A., and Pour-Ghaz M. Electrical impedance tomography-based sensing skin for quantitative imaging of damage in concrete, Smart Materials and Structures, 23, IOP Publishing, 2014, 085001.
  • Hallaji M. Monitoring Damage and Unsaturated Moisture Flow in Concrete with Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT), PhD thesis, North Carolina State University, 2014.
  • Hou T.C., Loh K.J., and Lynch J.P. Spatial conductivity mapping of carbon nanotube composite thin films by electrical impedance tomography for sensing applications, Nanotechnology, 18, IOP Publishing, 2007.
  • Kaipio J.P., and Somersalo E. Statistical and Computational Inverse Problems, Springer New York, 2005.
  • Laflamme S., Kollosche M., Connor J.J., and Kofod G. Soft capacitive sensor for structural health monitoring of large-scale systems, Structural Control and Health Monitoring, 19, John Wiley & Sons, 2012, 70-81.
  • Loh K.J., Hou T.C., Lynch J.P., and Kotov N.A. Nanotube-based sensing skins for crack detection and impact monitoring of structures, In 6th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, Stanford, California, 2007.
  • Loh K., Hou T. C., Lynch J. P., and Kotov N.A. Spatial structural sensing by carbon nanotube-based skins. In Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems, 6932, 2008.
  • Loyola B.R., Saponara V.L., Loh K.J., Briggs T.M., O'Bryan G., and Skinner J.L. Spatial sensing using electrical impedance tomography. IEEE Sensors Journal, 13, IEEE Xplore, 2013, 2357-2367. Pyo S., Loh K.J., Hou T., Jarva E., and Lynch J.P. A wireless impedance analyzer for automated tomographic mapping of a nanoengineered sensing skin, Smart Structures and Systems, 8, Techno Press, 2011, 139-155.
  • Rashetnia R., Seppänen A., and Pour-Ghaz, M. Preliminary findings on the size dependence of sensing skin damage detection resolution, In 11th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, Stanford, California, 2017.
  • Rashetnia R. Inverse problems in material system monitoring with applications in damage detection and tomography, PhD Thesis, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA, 2018. elements and cracking, Structural Health Monitoring, 16, SAGE Journals, 2017, 215-224.
  • Somersalo E., Cheney M., and Isaacson D. Existence and uniqueness for electrode models for electric current computed tomography, SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, 52, SIAM, 1992, 1023-1040.
  • Tallman T.N., Gungor S., Wang K.W., and Bakis C.E. Damage detection and conductivity evolution in carbon nanofiber epoxy via electrical impedance tomography, Smart Materials and Structures, 23, IOP Publishing, 2014, 045034.
  • Vauhkonen P.J. Image reconstruction in three-dimensional electrical impedance tomography, PhD thesis, University of Kuopio, 2004.
  • Vauhkonen P.J., Vauhkonen M., Savolainen T., and Kaipio J.P. Three-dimensional electrical impedance tomography based on the complete electrode model, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 46, IEEE Xplore, 1999, 1150-1160.
  • Vauhkonen M., Lionheart W.R.B., Heikkinen L.M., Vauhkonen P.J., and Kaipio J.P. A MATLAB package for the EIDORS project to reconstruct two-dimensional EIT images. Physiological Measurement, 22, IOP Publishing, 2001, 107-111.
  • Zhang Y. In situ fatigue crack detection using piezoelectric paint sensor, Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 17, SAGE Publications, 2006, 843-852.
Usage Shares
Total Views
287 Page Views
Total Shares
0 Tweets
0 PDF Downloads
0 Facebook Shares
Total Usage