Lab Canada

$700,000 grant to stimulate the concrete industry

Sherbrooke, QC — March 11, 2003 A new Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Industrial Research Chair at the Universit de Sherbrooke has created, whose work will focus on concrete structure analysis. The chair will be provided with $700,000 in funding over five years.

Using non-destructive testing technologies, Chairholder Professor Grard Ballivy and his team will be able to analyze the condition of the concrete and cement materials that make up our infrastructure, much of which is at least 50 years old. The 16-person team includes eight Master’s and doctoral students who form the team’s core.

"These scanning techniques must be reliable, accurate, and above all, fast," says Professor Ballivy. "When examining traffic lanes, for example, it is essential to conduct the testing without impeding the use of transportation networks.

"Our techniques are derived from geophysical methods generally used in mineral or petroleum exploration," he adds. "They must be very accurate to allow us, for example, to detect all the cracks that may compromise the stability of concrete structures."

The chair’s fieldwork will be conducted with industrial partners in order to validate the technologies and ensure they are transferred. The federal government’s partners in this initiative are Hydro-Qubec, the Ministre des Transports du Qubec, the St Lawrence Seaway, GIE Technologies, GoLab, Advitam Solutions, Le Groupe SM, Roctest, Gophysique GPR International and Andec Manufacturing. These partners will contribute $975,000 over five years.

For its part, the Centre d’expertise et de recherche en infrastructures urbaines (CERIU) will share its knowledge of urban environments with the chair and will make its resources available to disseminate the research findings.