IoT and Concrete Monitoring

Article

Nowadays, concrete is a critical component of many construction projects. Concrete not only forms the foundation for strong, smart buildings and cities but, thanks to concrete tilts it can also form the walls of entire buildings.  

Concrete is a mixture of cement, air, water, sand, and gravel. Whilst still in its liquid state, is applied to form slabs and other structures. Once it dries it hardens to form a robust and very durable material. 

The Concrete Challenge

The time it takes for concrete to cure is dependent on many factors. This means that timing and planning large-scale projects can prove tricky. Concrete drying depends on the mixture itself to several environmental factors, such as temperature levels and humidity. It also depends on the construction site and specific configuration itself.

All these factors contribute significantly to slowing down or speeding up the drying process, which in turn significantly affects a project’s timeframe and profitability.

Traditionally, construction companies have had to rely on lagging estimates of the temperature, strength, and relative humidity. This manual checking can lead to long delays, miscalculations, inaccuracies, and ultimately loss of profits.

Conventionally, knowing when the concrete curing process is finished depended on periodic testing. This involves taking samples of the same concrete mix used in a construction and sending it off for lab testing. Once tested, the results are sent back to the on-site crew who interpret them to make informed decisions on how to proceed.

However, since the concrete samples are taken out of the same concrete mix but not the actual slabs used in the construction, not only is this monitoring method terribly time-consuming but also somewhat inaccurate. 

A Concrete Solution

The Internet of Things (IoT) is now offering a more efficient way to monitor concrete as it cures. By remotely providing real-time data from the actual concrete used in construction sites, projects can be turned around more efficiently, accurately, and safely.

IoT solutions for concrete monitoring, combine sensor hardware, connectivity, and software to transmit critical data from the concrete used on-site directly to a decision maker’s phone or computer.

This remote monitoring and real-time communication eliminate the need for multiple on-site visits to collect data and significantly reduce the time needed to send individual samples back and forth to a testing lab.

Whilst concrete is being poured, IoT sensors and devices are embedded at various lengths and depths. These low power consumption wireless technologies transmit information via Melita’s gateway, available on mobile or LoRaWAN networks and then to an IoT platform that is accessible from any mobile or desktop device.

concrete-iot-solution

LoRaWAN connectivity and Melita’s nationwide mobile networks are very secure and reliable offering optimal coverage in remote areas.

This IoT solution for concrete monitoring provides full visibility of the concrete’s performance during every stage of the drying process, and the real-time data not only indicates the exact status of the concrete but also triggers indicators when targets and thresholds are reached.

In this way, a construction company is provided with a continuous, constant, and accurate picture of the state of its concrete in different areas of a site and a fully detailed final report can be issued on the quality of the concrete works delivered.

To learn more about how melita.io can help your construction business take advantage of the power of the Internet of Things, contact us.

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