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Technical textiles for structural health monitoring (Polytect)

Can textile structures help monitor structural damage in unstable and seismic active areas?

A joint research project of 27 private companies, research institutions and universities led to the development of a revolutionary geotextile for reinforcement, drainage and, at the same time, the possibility of monitoring the technical condition of structures.

  • a joint research project of 27 private companies, research institutions and universities from September 2006 to October 2010
  • development of an impedance health monitoring technique to monitor stresses, deformations, acceleration, water level variation, and pressure and detect the presence of fluids and chemicals
  • use of multifunctional textiles as load-bearing part of the building for stabilization and monitoring
  • incorporation of piezoceramics and fiber optics sensors
  • current textile structures are too weak
  • insufficient measurement of structural health

The aim of the Polytect project was to develop new multifunctional technical textiles for application in constructions, specially for the retrofitting of masonry structures and earthworks. The multifunctionality comprises not only reinforcement and drainage but also health monitoring of these structures. Therefore, the monitoring systems used for the evaluation of the structural integrity, planning of the maintenance works and alerting/preventing the structural damage have also been requested.

Benefits of the solution compared to conventional methods


Multifunctional textiles will increasingly play a part in stabilizing and geotechnical monitoring of buildings and helping to prevent landslides after heavy rains or earthquakes.

II. Immediate notification of a crisis

Confirmed through a distinctive test replicating Earth’s gravitational acceleration at 0.4 g (a value of 0.5 is equivalent to the typical peak value observed during an earthquake) on a two-story family house.Verified in a unique test simulating 0.4 gravitational acceleration of the Earth (value 0.5g corresponds to the maximum value typically observed during an earthquake) on a two-story family house.

III. Speeding up and simplifying the assessment of the static condition of A building

Monitoring the state of structures after an earthquake with different types of sensors and analytical methods allows faster and effective determination of their integrity. This allows life to return quickly to normality.

How did we approach the solution?

As an optical engineering company, we were co-responsible for the development of fiber optic sensors designed for integration into technical textiles to provide point and distributed measurements of mechanical and physical quantities. We also contributed to the development and manufacturing of optoelectronic devices for the fiber optic sensors and the development of devices for sensitivity testing of chemical transducers.

Why work with us?

Our company was invited to the project thanks to its professional expertise and experience with cooperation on scientific research projects. One of our specialties is the development of the most economical measuring solutions and providing fiber optic sensing systems matched to the client’s needs.

FBG technology is the most suitable solution where conventional procedures fail or are not viable because of routine operation.

The systems minimize the number of false alarms by using advanced algorithms.

The system is very durable and, if installed correctly and protected from the environment, can be operated with minimal maintenance and servicing.


How can we help you?

Are you considering our products and solutions, need to consult about your project with us, or would you like to establish long-term cooperation with us? Contact us. We’ll do our best to answer any questions you might have within 24 hours.

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