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Dept.

of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

1.INTRODUCTION
With the economic growth and science-technology development, more and more large-scale civil engineering structures such as tall buildings, underground buildings and landmark buildings and so on are built around the world. While the economic growth is a kind of extensive growth: high input, high consumption and high pollution, for that the energy saving technology is low, especially in developing countries. The brightness of indoor environment is entirely maintained by artificial lighting, which has consumed a large number of resources. Moreover civil engineering structures always suffer from external environmental effects, economic loss and casualties are serious once damaged. And now, building energy saving and building safety have been attracted much attention. Many large span bridges and new landmark buildings have been successfully implemented structural health monitoring systems. Optical fiber sensors such as fiber Bragg Grating, Brillouin distributed sensors and plastic optical fiber sensors have been widely used for the in situ monitoring of major projects (Ou&Zhou, 2003Anshari, 2007 Wu, 2006; Inaudi, 2005; C. Vzquez et al, 2004Kalymnios2005Kurashima, 1997; Kuang, 2006). Meanwhile some new building materials are developed and used in structures, including self-diagnosis smart concrete, self-tuning smart concrete, selfrepairing smart concrete, soundproof concrete, thermal insulation concrete and so on (Ou&Li, 2002-2007; Chung, 1993, 2000; Sun, 2000). All these functional materials only focus on the intelligence characteristics, and cannot possess energy saving. In 2001, the concept of transparent concrete is first put forward by Hungarian architect Aron Losonzi, and the first transparent concrete block is successfully produced by mixing large amount of glass fiber into concrete in 2003, named as LiTraCon. Joel S. and Sergio O.G. developed a transparent concrete material, which can allow 80% light through and only 30% of weight of common concrete. It is worth mentioning that Italian Pavilion in Shanghai Expo 2010 shows a kind of transparent concrete developed by mixing glass into concrete in 2010. While the transparent concrete mainly focuses on "transparent and its application object is art design. And there is no research on mechanics and long-term durability of transparent concrete. Therefore it is imperative to develop a new functional
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Dept. of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

material to satisfy the structure safety monitoring (such as damage detection, fire warning), environmental protection and energy saving and artistic modeling. As two representative materials in construction and sensing field, concrete is one of the most important civil engineering materials with the advantages of rich raw materials, low cost and simple production process. And optical fiber has good light guiding which can arrange the sun light transmit according to pre-design road without light-heat, lightelectrical or photochemical process, and photoelastic effect which can be used to study the stress distribution of structures. Combining the advantages of the concrete and optical fiber, developing a novel functional material has important value of application for construction and sensing. In this paper, to integrate the merits of concrete and optical fiber, our group develops a smart transparent concrete by arranging the high numerical aperture POF or big diameter glass optical fiber into concrete. The main purpose is to use sunlight as a light source to reduce the power consumption of illumination and to use the optical fiber to sense the stress of structures. The light guiding, durability and self-sensing properties are studied based on white light test, freezing and thawing test, chloride ion penetration test, and stress elasto-optic effect test respectively.

Fig.1.1 Transparent Concrete

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Dept. of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

2. FABRICATION OF SMART TRANSPARENT CONCRETE


The main idea of the smart transparent concrete is that high numerical aperture optical fibers are directly arranged in the concrete, and the optical fiber is used as sensing element and optical transmission element. Because that the light can transmit in the optical fiber, different shape of smart transparent concretes can be fabricated and a certain amount of optical fibers are regularly distributed in the concrete shown as figure 2.1. Plastic optical fiber is an excellent media to transmit light at specific wavelengths which has been widely used in illuminating facility or architectural appearance lighting. In this paper, the transparent concrete is made of concrete and POFs. The fabrication process of standard transparent concrete block can be described as follows. First, according to the volume ratio of concrete and POF, some holes with orthogonal arrays are drilled in the plastic sheet. Second, POFs are through the holes of two plastic sheets which are fixed on the slots of wood formwork shown as figure 2.2. Last, a certain concrete is poured in the formwork and fully vibrated on the shaking table. Figure 2.3 shows the product of transparent concrete, which has good light transmittance from the transparent demonstration experiment.

Fig.2.1 Configuration of smart transparent concrete

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Dept. of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

Fig.2.2 Fabrication of smart transparent concrete

Fig.2.3 Transparent demonstration of smart transparent concrete

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Dept. of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

3. EXPERIMENTS OF SMART TRANSPARENT CONCRETE


3.1 LIGHT GUIDING PROPERTY OF SMART TRANSPARENT CONCRETE In order to study the light guiding property of smart transparent concrete, we fabricate six kinds of smart transparent concretes with different POF volume ratios of 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5% and 6%, and the diameters of POF is 2mm. The transmittance is measured by the Newport 835 Optical Power Meter made in USA shown as figure 3.1, and its wavelength range is 400-1100nm. The incandescent lamp with 200W and halogen lamp with 500W are chosen to provide light. To eliminate the measuring dispersion of transmittance caused by the discrepancy of POFs position and the material, three areas (denoted as 1, 2 and 3) in the middle part of transparent concrete are chosen to test shown as figure 3.2, and the number of POFs in each chosen area shall be equal. The number of the POFs is covered by transmission probe or integral sphere are 2 for 1% POF volume ratio, 4 for 2% POF volume ratio, 5 for 3% POF volume ratio, 7 for 4% POF volume ratio, 3 for 5% POF volume ratio and 9 for 6% POF volume ratio respectively. The adjustment of step of the Newport 835 Optical Power Meter is 20nm, and the incident light energy and transmission light energy are read simultaneously at each step.

Fig. 3.1 Newport 835 Optical Power Meter

Fig.3.2 Measuring area of the concrete in the Light Guiding Experiment

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Dept. of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

3.2 DURABILITY PROPERTY OF SMART TRANSPARENT CONCRETE Civil engineering structures always suffer from external environmental effects, such as fatigue, corrosion and wind load and so on, in long-term service. Mechanical property and anti-corrosion property of building material at adverse environments are two key facts for the durability of in-service structures, which directly impact the safety of structures. 3.2.1 MECHANICAL PROPERTY OF SMART TRANSPARENT CONCRETE IN FROZEN PROCESS EXPERIMENT To study the mechanical properties of smart transparent concrete with different POF volume ratio under mal-condition, the frozen process experiment is done in the lab. The experimental process can be shown as in figure 3.3. In this paper, the POF volume ratios of smart transparent concretes chosen for test are 0% (or plain concrete), 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5% and 6%. After 25 freeze-thaw cycle test, the mechanical properties of smart transparent concrete are evaluated by the compressive strength loss rate (f), expressed as follow.

Eqn(3.1) Where co and cn are compressive strength before and after freeze-thawing test.

Fig.3.3 Procedure of Mechanical properties test after freeze-thawing

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Dept. of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

3.2.2 IMPERMEABILITY PROPERTY OF SMART TRANSPARENT CONCRETE For the smart transparent concrete, the interfacial bonding of the POFs and concrete is a crucial factor in determining ultimate impermeability properties. The chloride diffusion coefficient method (or electric flux method) is used to test the impermeability property of smart transparent concrete, which can rapidly evaluate the permeability of concrete by measuring the electric energy through concrete. In this paper, the smart transparent concretes with 0%, 3% and 6% POF volume ratio are chosen for the test. The electric energy is recorded by the electric flux detector NJW-RCP-6A made in China, and cylindrical concrete specimens with 100mm diameter and 50mm height are fabricated from the prefabricated smart transparent concretes by core-drilling method, shown as figure 3.4. Moreover, in order to evaluate the effect of interface bonding on the impermeability property, each model of specimen has been divided two types. One is that the border of POF and concrete is covered by epoxy resin, the other one is not covered by epoxy resin, as shown in figure 3.4. Figure 3.5 shows the test configuration.

Fig.3.4 Cylindrical concrete specimens for impermeability

Fig.3.5 Setup of test


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Dept. of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

4. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS AND ANALYSIS


4.1 EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS OF LIGHT GUIDING PROPERTY

Graph-1. Light guiding test by halogen lamp


Graph-1 and Graph-2 show the light guiding property of smart

transparent concrete with the POF volume ratio of 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5% and 6% by using the halogen lamp and incandescent lamp, respectively. It can be seen that the transmittance of each type of smart transparent concrete almost keeps stable at whole wavelength of the Newport 835 Optical Power Meter, and the linear relationship between the POF volume ratio and its transmittance is good. For the halogen lamp, the transmittances of the six ratio smart transparent concrete are 0.29%, 0.59%, 0.98%, 1.41%, 1.83% and 2.36%; for the incandescent lamp, the corresponding transmittances are 0.41%, 0.82%, 1.22%, 1.72%, 2.15% and 2.59% respectively. The discrepancy of transmittance induced by different lamp is that the light scatterings angle of the chosen lamp is different, and the POFs absorb much light scattered by incandescent lamp than that by halogen lamp.

Graph-2.Light guiding test by incandescent lamp


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Dept. of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

Furthermore, it is worthily of note that the large the POF volume ratio is, the large the transmittance is. In fact, the POF volume ratio and the corresponding transmittance are just like a sword with both edges. We cannot only pay attention to the high transmittance, for the POF inevitable affects the concrete strength. In the following experimental results, it can be seen that POF will reduce the concrete strength.

4.2 EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS OF DURABILITY OF SMART TRANSPARENT CONCRETE 4.2.1.MECHANICAL PROPERTY OF SMART TRANSPARENT CONCRETE AT FREEZE-THAW From graph-3, it can be seen that the mass of smart transparent concretes almost are unchanged in 25times freezing and thawing cycle and the maximum loss rate of mass is about 0.4%. Graph-4 shows the compressive strengthen of smart transparent concretes with freeze-thaw or not. It can be seen that the compressive strength of each type of smart transparent concrete have greatly decreased after 25times freeze-thaw cycle, and the maximum loss rate of compressive strength is about 42% comparison with that without bearing the function of freeze-thaw for the same type of concrete. It can be seen that the larger the POF volume ratio is, the smaller the compressive strengthen of the smart transparent concrete is. So we cannot endless increase the transmittance by way of increasing the POF volume ratio. One point to be mention, the compressive strengthen of the plain concrete (or the smart transparent concrete with 0% POF volume ratio) is smaller than that of the accustomed plain concrete. The reason is that we consider the fabrication method of the smart transparent concrete and ignore the normal mix proportion of cement mortar at pretest. To improve the compressive strength of the smart transparent concrete, one solution is that the smart transparent concrete can be produced by some special high strength concrete, which can reduce the impact of the POF to the concretes compressive strength.

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Dept. of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

Graph-3. Loss rate of concrete mass at each smart time of freeze-thawing

Graph-4.Compressive strength of transparent concrete with freeze-thaw or not

4.2.2 IMPERMEABILITY PROPERTY OF SMART TRANSPARENT CONCRETE Graph-5 shows the relationship of current strength over time. After the vacuum water saturation, the initial current strength of the plain concrete, the smart transparent concrete with 3% POF volume ratio, the smart transparent concrete with 3% POF volume ratio and POF covered by epoxy resin, the smart transparent concrete with 6% POF volume ratio and the smart transparent concrete with 6% POF volume ratio and POF covered by epoxy resin are 70.4mA, 104.5mA, 79mA, 117mA and 114.9mA, respectively. After six hours conduction time, the corresponding current strengths of the above six concretes increase to 113.6mA, 181.7mA, 126.4mA, 201.6mA and 1944.2mA, respectively. The total electric energy of the plain concrete, the smart transparent concrete with 3% POF volume ratio and that with 6% POF volume ratio are 1897.8C, 3152.6C and 3602.2C, that is, there are some minor gaps between the POFs and concrete which cause the decrease of the anti-permeability shown in graph-6. It also can be seen that the anti-permeability is greatly improved by using the epoxy resin to cover the boundary of the POFs and concrete, and the total electric energy of the smart transparent concrete with 3% and 6% POF volume ratio covered by epoxy resin are reduced to 2147C and 3357.8C. In field application, the anti-permeability index of smart transparent concrete is very important for the long-term service. We can improve the anti- 10 -

Dept. of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

permeability by two methods: one is to seal the boundary of POFs and concrete with transparent waterproof material such as epoxy resin; the other one is to make the POFs coating rough to increase the compactness of interface between the POF and concrete.

Graph-5.The relationship of current strength

energy over time

Graph-6.Comparison of total electric traversing the smart concrete

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Dept. of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

5. CONCLUSION

A novel construction material named smart transparent concrete was developed using POF and glass fiber with large diameter, in which the POF is used as light transmission element and glass fiber is a sensing element to monitor the stress state of structures, and could be regarded as an art material to be used in museums and specific exhibitions. Based on the test of transmission, self-sensing and durability of the smart concrete, the following results have been gotten: 1) The smart transparent concrete has good light guiding property, and the POF volume ratio to concrete is proportion to transmission. 2) The stress birefringence property of glass fiber make itself a good sensing element to measure the inner stress of smart transparent concrete. Comparison to the three experimental conditions, it can be seen that the stress state of glass fiber can reflect the stress state of concrete, which make the self-sensing property. 3) The amount of POFs has seriously influenced the compressive strength of the corresponding concrete. The much number the POFs are, the smaller the compressive strength is. So the transmissions cannot endless increase by way of endless increasing the number of POFs in concrete. Furthermore, the POFs have also reduced the antipermeability of the concrete. Using the epoxy resin to seal the boundary of POFs and concrete, the smart transparent concretes anti-permeability can be greatly improved.

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Dept. of Civil Engineering

Seminar Report 2011-2012

6. REFERENCES
Ansari F. Practical Implementation of Optical Fiber Sensors in Civil Structural Health Monitoring. Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 18(8):879-889, 2007. Zhou Z, Ou J.P, and Wang B. Smart FRP-OFGB Bars and Their Application in Reinforced Concrete Beams. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Structural Health Monitoring and Intelligent Structure, Japan: 861~866,2003. Kuang K.S.C, Maalej M, Quek S.T. Hybrid optical fiber sensor system based on fiber Bragg gratings and plastic optical fibers for health monitoring of engineering structures. Proc. of SPIE, 6174(61742P)1-12, 2006. Vzquez C, Gonzalo A.B, Vargas S and Montalvo J. Multi-sensor system using plastic optical fibers for intrinsically safe level measurements. Sensors and Actuators, 116:22-32, 2004.
Kalymnios, D. Plastic Optical Fibers (POF) in sensing current status and

prospects. 17th International Conference on Optical Fiber Sensors SPIE, 5855, 2005

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