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Civil infrastructure integrity and testing experts available

August 03, 2007 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. – The collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis has brought new urgency to the need to answer a longstanding question: How do we know a structure is safe?

For more than 35 years, scientists and engineers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been assessing, developing and deploying sensor technology for evaluating material degradation associated with failure in steel, concrete, composite and other structures.

A major focus of current research is identification of the subtle microstructural changes in materials (changes at the microscopic level) that are precursors to crack formation and propagation.

Locating defects in materials prior to failure is important because, by the time some cracks are large enough to be detected visually or with conventional sensors, they may propagate very rapidly, resulting in unexpected failure.

Reporters and editors are invited to speak with PNNL civil infrastructure experts in the following areas:

• Diagnostics and prognostics
• Inspection procedure development
• System performance evaluation
• Advanced R&D for civil infrastructure, utilities and manufacturing
• Materials and structures characterization
• Process monitoring, measurement and control

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Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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