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Pre-cast Concrete Pile Monitoring from Manufacture to after Installation (PILE-MON)
Start date: Sep 1, 2008, End date: Feb 28, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Concrete piles are being used extensively in the civil construction industry, but there are a lot of issues to be addressed in the integrity testing of these piles. The most commonly used concrete piles are the pre-cast concrete piles and the cast in-situ concrete piles. Cast in-situ concrete piles are limited in the length or depth at which it could be cast unlike pre-cast piles (it can be extended to greater depths using mechanical joints). Apart from its advantage in installation depth, pre-cast concrete piles are becoming more preferred because of the decreasing length of the individual pile sections before installation. There are equipments and method available for concrete pile integrity testing that is time and cost effective (e.g. ultrasonic testing), but they have limitations especially when testing pre-cast piles. Therefore, our idea is to produce an innovative quality assurance system to enable a cost effective, efficient and reliable means of monitoring the integrity of pre-cast concrete piles through out its supply chain from manufacturing up until after its installation. The proposed project would involve the development of: · A means of recording and accessing pile information (pile number, batch number, pile location, periodic integrity check results etc) using an embedded ID tag on each pile; · A means of verifying a number of piles used to form a segmented pile has been properly driven (installed) into the ground and can hold a given amount of weight. This would be done by developing an innovative concrete pile manufacturing process to slightly embed a conductive circuit path through the pile common failure areas to allow current passage through the pile, which would allow for the detection of changes in resistivity due to cracks or strain to the concrete pile using an intelligent monitoring technique. This could be a means to verify the possibility of reusing a concrete pile if the case arises.
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