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‘Smart’ concrete could help identify failing infrastructure

Published by
World Cement,

Oceanit Laboratories has developed a ‘smart’ cement capable of transmitting and responding to mechanical, acoustic and magnetic signals. At the heart of Nanite™ is a hybrid nanomaterials-based additive that transforms traditional concrete into a highly durable and inherently sensing smart concrete with multifunctional properties. The material has been in the works for several years: in 2008, Nanite™ won the NASA Nano 50 award, which recognises the top 50 technologies, innovators and products that impact nanotechnology and industry.

The Oceanit Laboratories website tells how the product shows significant promise as a self-sensing concrete for bridges, roadways and other critical infrastructure for perimeter security, intruder detection and tracking and early detection of failing infrastructure.

Now, the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory’s unconventional oil and gas program is funding a 36-month programme by Oceanit Laboratories, in partnership with several operating companies, to test the ability of Nanite™ to:

  • Provide information on the integrity of cement barriers.
  • Identify and measure the stress on casing, cement shrinkage and well conditions throughout the life of the well
  • Monitor the infiltration of gas, mud, and various fluids into the cement.

In an article on Oceanit CEO Pat Sullivan describes how Nanite™ is ‘naturally equipped to sense what’s going on’, which at an oil well could help workers identify problems with well integrity.

The following video from Oceanit provides a demonstration of the product’s sensing capabilities.

Edited from various sources by

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