Prestressed wire break detection with quantum sensors

May 17, 2023 /

Funding of internal university projects for the transfer of knowledge and technology

The MPA University of Stuttgart receives internal university funding for knowledge and technology transfer projects for research on tension wire break detection with quantum sensors. The project is expected to run for one year and will be supported by the University of Stuttgart with 40,000 Euro.

The invisible heroes of our infrastructure: The importance of engineered bridges

Bridges made of prestressed concrete are the invisible heroes that carry us safely across rivers, valleys and roads. They are the backbone of our infrastructure. But many of these bridges are in a precarious condition. Decades of stress, far beyond what was originally foreseeable, deficiencies in the design and, not least, environmental influences lead to cracks, corrosion and deformation that threaten stability.

Regular inspections are crucial to identify potential hazards at an early stage. Modern technologies help to uncover hidden damage. Safety comes first, because a failing bridge not only endangers human lives but also affects traffic and the economy.

Funding for tension wire break detection with quantum sensors

Magnetic leakage field inspection is still the only way to detect prestressing wire breaks in existing structures. It is a non-destructive and non-contact testing method that allows conclusions to be drawn about the condition of the prestressing wires. Engineers and scientists at MPA University of Stuttgart are researching ways to improve the validity of the inspections and are working on new methods for the maintenance of prestressed concrete structures.

One of the developments is the use of second-generation quantum sensors for locating magnetic fields in the structure that indicate damaged prestressing steel. Initial series of tests with the participating project partner Advanced Quantum have shown that significantly higher spatial resolutions are possible with this technology and that the magnetic field strengths can be detected much more precisely.

The technological possibilities of quantum sensor technology suggest a significant increase in the performance and efficiency of magnetic leakage field inspections in the context of non-destructive testing of prestressed concrete structures. The essential goal of the interdisciplinary collaboration between quantum physicists and civil engineers is to further improve the detectability of prestressed wire breaks under practical construction conditions with the help of the new sensor technology.

Professional service: Prestressing wire breakage detection

MPA University of Stuttgart already offers magnetic leakage field inspection for the investigation of existing structures. Learn more about our profesisonal services for magnetic leakage field inspection.


Dr. Frank Lehmann

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