Our researching group has extensive experience in the use of non-destructive techniques for concrete durability research. Our latest projects involve the development of systems for corrosion monitoring of reinforced concrete structures. One of the most promising lines concerns the use of embedded sensor systems for measuring the corrosion rate of reinforcement as well as additional parameters such as the corrosion potential, the electrical resistivity of concrete and temperature.
Within this researching framework, a particular line of work and research has emerged. It consists of adapting a specific portable device, initially designed and implemented for on-site corrosion assessment, for its use as a permanent monitoring system in concrete structures.
In line with this approach, the tasks proposed to be carried out by the student during the stay at our researching group focuses on two key areas:
- Introduction to scientific research methodology: it considers the use of tools for literature review, the design of experiments, the use of common instrumental and analytical techniques in electrochemistry laboratories.
- Experimental work: it focuses on the calibration and validation of the sensor prototype initially developed by our group. The first task is to review and understand the basic operational principle of the sensor. Following this, the prototype will be calibrated in reinforced concrete. In practice, several prototype units will be embedded in concrete specimens with different corrosion level. The results achieved will be compared with the measurements obtained through traditional sensor systems. Our research group will strongly support publication, dissemination and other activities aimed at maximizing the impact of the conclusions reached in this research. These findings will help identify the aspects to be focused in the further development of the monitoring system.
With regard to the activities described above, the student is required to have previous knowledge of electrochemistry basis, good command of common data processing software, spirit of innovation, team work abilities, and interest in acquiring new knowledge and skills.