What is structural health monitoring?

Safety is a key word in Structural Health Monitoring (SHM). It is a question of damage detection and characterisation strategy for engineering structures such as buildings and bridges. Factors such as aging or degradation to these structures can potentially affect the performance or, in worst cases, even cause damage or collapse, endangering people.

Owners and maintenance managers of engineering structures are continuously looking for cost-effective and reliable inspection and monitoring solutions to ensure safety and reliability of these structures.

Importance of structural health monitoring

When monitoring structures, it is important to be able to detect the existence of damage to the structure, locate the damage, identify the type of damage, and quantify the severity of the damage. Sensor solutions are typically used for this purpose, and the possibility to send data continuously to the control system is essential.

Displacement sensors for structural health monitoring

Challenges associated with structural health monitoring

Even though the value of SHM is clear, there are a few obstacles, preventing SHM in a larger scale. These include costs of SHM systems, where many existing SHM systems are relatively expensive. They also include questions regarding what type of sensors to use where the issue of finding sensors capable of performing reliably in all types of weather is dominant. Finally, the installation of the SHM system can be time consuming, labour intensive, and therefore expensive.

Sensor solutions from Elastisense

Displacement sensors from ElastiSense are perfect for most applications within SHM. Sensor solutions from ElastiSense are cost effective with easy installation, low maintenance and extreme durability.

DS-Series Displacement Sensors

Compared to other sensor solutions, such as piston-based displacement sensors (LVDTs, Potentiometers, and Linear Encoders), our sensors can measure displacement while tolerating unpredictable movements, since the core sensing element is made of rubber and thus deformable in all directions. They are perfectly finished for outdoor applications and can endure all sorts of weather-related conditions, including heavy rain, UV light, wind, extreme heat and extreme cold.

Sensor solutions from ElastiSense require no special mounting, protection or cleaning. This is a big plus in Structural Health Monitoring, as it helps reduce costs on installation, operation and maintenance, compared to other sensor solutions.

IoT sensors for SHM applications 

The IoT version of the DS-Series sensor from ElastiSense, has the advantage that it can be supplied with 2.5-5.25V, making it capable of running on battery power. This is very relevant in locations where corded power supply is not an option. The sensor does not have to be turned on all the time, but can be set to measure in intervals. This allows it to run for a very long time on the battery alone. 

Sensor applications of SHM

Sensor solutions from ElastiSense can be customised to fit any application and control system within Structural Health Monitoring and provide valuable data that helps increase the safety and durability of any given engineering structure.

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