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Lansing firm gets grant to develop concrete sensors
01/04/2009 - 11/30/-0001

LANSING, NY — Advanced Design Consulting USA of Lansing has been awarded a federal grant to design and develop sensors that would be embedded within concrete structures to monitor their performance and need for repairs, the company announced Thursday.

The sensors would help head off tragic failures such as a bridge collapse.

The grant is from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The sensors would gather data to help prolong the service life of concrete, lower infrastructure costs and develop more effective remediation methods.

“With infrastructure costs escalating it is becoming essential to monitor the health of concrete structures so that timely maintenance can maximize their useful lives,” said Alexander Deyhim, president of ADC.

“This project will demonstrate the feasibility of using a passive sensor, embedded within concrete, to measure moisture, temperature, pH and concentrations of chlorides,” said Eric Van Every, director of research and operations at ADC. “It will provide critical data for evaluating concrete performance.

When concrete fails in tension, the results can be catastrophic, as seen in bridge collapses such as the one last summer in Minnesota, Deyhim said. He didn't know if the grant originated before that tragedy, but it's clear the government is paying more attention to concrete infrastructure.

The first phase of the grant is worth $100,000. The second phase, which will depend in part on results of the first, would be worth $750,000, Deyhim said.

ADC, located at 126 Ridge Road, is a privately held consulting company that works primarily in engineering design, research and development, testing and custom fabrication. It has 24 employees.

This grant is in part a continuation of previous work on concrete sensors, Deyhim said. It has hired Tia Korhonen, who recently earned a doctorate degree in materials science from Cornell University, and is consulting with Ken Hover, a Cornell civil engineering professor, Deyhim said.

“It's very nice and handy to have a place like Cornell University close to us,” Deyhim said. “It allows us to work with people like Professor Hover, who has many, many years of experience, and Cornell encourages faculty to do consulting.”

Originally published January 4, 2008 - The Ithaca Journal