• Aerospace materials for on-site building of pipes of infinite length

    Concrete and steel pipes are built in short sections to fit on standard 18-wheel trucks; the heavy industrial manufacturing processes, long-distance trucking, and leak-prone joints used in steel and concrete pipe construction exact a heavy toll on the environment, not to mention bottom line; the solution: a new pipe design, consisting of a central layer of lightweight plastic honeycomb, which can be built onsite as a single section of virtually infinite length

  • New, affordable instant warnings of bridge collapse

    The Federal Bureau of Transportation lists nearly 70,000 U.S. bridges as “structurally deficient,” requiring extra surveillance; in addition, more than 77,000 others are categorized as “obsolete” — exceeding their intended lifespan and carrying loads greater than they were designed to handle; researchers developed a new technology for monitoring these 150,000 aging U.S. highway bridges

  • New method for detecting, measuring bridge damage

    Researchers have created a bridge health index, which is a rating system that more accurately describes the amount of damage in a bridge; the health index can extend beyond bridges and apply to other structures, such as gas pipelines, dams, buildings, and airplanes

  • Automated pavement crack detection and sealing system to extend roadways life

    Researchers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute developed a prototype automated pavement crack detection and sealing system; in road tests, the system was able to detect cracks smaller than one-eighth-inch wide and efficiently fill cracks from a vehicle moving at a speed of three miles per hour

  • Quick-curing concrete for infrastructure, mining disaster recovery

    A quick-curing concrete can be sprayed to reinforce structures — buildings, runways, tunnels, bridges, dams – damaged by an act of terror or natural disaster; the spraying can be done almost immediately, before the structure fails catastrophically, providing safety for rescue workers who risk their lives minutes after disasters hit, and for still stranded in or near the damaged structure

  • Hurricane Ike damage analysis point to vulnerable Texas bridges

    Preliminary results from a new research show more than a dozen Gulf Coast bridges on or near Galveston Island would likely suffer severe damage if subjected to a hurricane with a similar landfall as Hurricane Ike but with 30 percent stronger winds

  • Ancient design concept leads to new ideas for building durable bridges

    Engineers combine an ancient concrete arch form, dating back to the Roman empire, with a composite shell to create bridge beams which are designed to last 100 years

  • Using nanomaterials to build safer, longer-lasting roadways

    Asphalt is now made from petroleum, so it is very expensive; researchers tested two types of nanoclays, adding 2-4 percent by weight to asphalt; this is a smidgeon — less than half of a percent of the total weight of the asphalt pavement itself, but it made a big difference, and could make for safer, longer-lasting roadways

  • New tool offer better flooding protection

    There are more than 84,000 dams across the United States, and millions of Americans live behind them; if these dams and levees were to fail and unleash catastrophic flooding, as some did in New Orleans in 2005, a high price will be paid in life lost and property destroyed; DHS S&T and partners develop new software systems for fast simulation of catastrophic flooding

  • Protecting U.S. bridges from terrorism, accident

    More than 600,000 bridges in the United States are 20-feet long or longer, some over a century old, many of them national iconic monuments; DHS, the Federal Highway Administration, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are conducting a series of tests aiming to make the bridges better able to withstand a terrorist attack; this research is discovering how materials, connection details, and designs in aging bridges react to IEDs, other explosives, kinetic impact, intense fires, and other accidents

  • Five arrested in foiled Cleveland bridge bomb plot

    Five men who considered themselves anarchists and angry at the government and corporate America were arrested after a foiled attempt to blow up a Cleveland area bridge; the five were planning on commemorating May Day, the international workers’ holiday, by destroying the bridge connecting two wealthy Cleveland suburbs

  • Maintaining bridges and improving safety on a budget

    What if there was a way to improve the safety, durability, and sustainability of aging bridges across North America without increasing spending? Researchers say they have found a way to do so

  • New Iowa bridge equipped with damage-detection gauges

    A new Iowa bridge is equipped with sensors which provide a large amount of quantitative information about the bridge’s performance and condition; these gauges take 100 readings a second for corrosion, strain, surface conditions, moisture within the steel arch, and structure movements over time; the bridge is also equipped to monitor the security of the structure and to record surveillance video; it is a structure monitoring model that could be used for other new bridges, including much larger ones

  • U.S. aging bridges in critical condition

    There are an estimated 18,000 bridges in the United States that are classed as fracture-critical bridges, requiring continual inspections; the need for increased inspection and maintenance runs against shrinking state and federal budgets for infrastructure improvements; bridges must also be closed for maintenance – but at least for that there is now a solution: instant bridges

  • Bridges get a quick check-up with new imaging technique

    EPFL engineers have developed a new imaging technique which allows engineers  to see the insides of massive concrete bridges; much like a sonogram, this technique provides quick, easy-to-interpret images, so that the health of these expensive structures can be assessed and monitored