Textile structures to retrofit buildings in unstable and seismic active areas (Polytect)
- current ductility and structural strength of textile structures are too weak
- insufficient measurement of structural health
- monitor stresses, deformations, acceleration, water level variation, and pressure
- detect the presence of fluids and chemicals
- use of textile material as load-bearing part of the building
- use of multifunctional textiles for stabilization and monitoring
- incorporation of piezoceramics and fiber optics sensors
- development of an impedance health monitoring technique
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.
Nowadays, textile structures are extensively used in construction in the forms of geotextiles which are designed for the reinforcement of earthworks and drainage. Also, the retrofitting and reinforcement of existing masonry walls and soil structures gains more and more importance, especially in connection with seismic reinforcement, earthquake protection of historic buildings, and protection of roads and railroads embankments against landslides.
SAFIBRA was one of the 27 private companies, research institutes and universities that took part in the Polytect project from September 2006 to October 2010. The project was partially funded by the European Community under the “Integrated Research project for SME (Small to Medium Enterprise)” program.
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.