An Argentinian company has pioneered the developments and applications of modern methods for the non-destructive inspection and diagnosis of reinforced concrete structures with unprecedented precision, cleanliness and convenience, in particular Reinforced Concrete Tomography (RCT) technology. The company now plans to expand, and with in mind seeks partners to apply the use of its technology in Europe under a services agreement.
The Argentine company has important patents in its portfolio. It has successfully completed non-destructive testing of over 1000 public and private structures such as bridges, buildings, piers, historic buildings/monuments etc. RCT has been applied in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Portugal, Chile and the UK. The founders are two scientists; one is a member and former President of the Argentine National Academy of Science, the other a Senior Physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory (USA) and a third partner is a lawyer. They seek a partner with good commercial presence in EU markets; interested in managing their services, preferably a partner operating in the non-destructive inspection segment in EU and knowledge of the civil engineering sector willing to develop this market by identifying potential customers and niches under the umbrella of a long term commercial service agreement . The company will provide the software, the hardware and the flow of new services from its R&D lab from Buenos Aires. The partner should provide the expertise in EU markets, operate the sales force, manage the working capital and participate in regional fairs. RCT combines X-ray-type imaging, familiar to everybody from medical applications, with triangulation techniques commonly used by surveyors to locate objects. Instead of X-rays, the company uses more penetrating radiation such as gamma rays. The technology involves obtaining radiographic images of hidden rebars which are then analyzed with proprietary software to determine diameters and positions of rebars with high precision. In addition, corrosion of steel elements can be observed and measured as well as voids in the concrete matrix and posttensioned ducts. For special applications such as the inspection of elements laying deep in large concrete structures, the radiographic plate is replaced by a small gamma-ray spectrometer which is displaced inside the structure.
Innovations and advantages
There is no other non-destructive technology capable of determining positions and diameters of steel bars with the precision required by a civil engineer to verify the load capacity of a reinforced concrete structure. Except for the simplest structures (i.e. a small column with only 4 rebars in its vertices), the only alternative to RCT is the use of chisel and hammer to chip away part of the concrete in order to uncover a few rebars and have a direct view of them. But this procedure is not complete, entails damage to the structure, dust and inconveniences in the case of inhabited buildings. The fact that this method is non-destructive saves time, materials and manpower. The cost of repairing the damage is eliminated. In the case of inhabited buildings the advantages of cleanliness, speed and noise free operation, become even more important. Load tests or destructive inspections are risky for balconies and projections, where the location and condition of the reinforcements are particularly important. Gamma rays are advantageous for work in the field because they are emitted by isotopes without need of electrical power. Therefore, the company provides non-destructive testing for reinforced concrete structures that were too difficult or too expensive to evaluate until now. Using proprietary software and highly precise alignment hardware, data analysis can be largely automated and made increasingly precise and reliable.
02006005 Construction maintenance and monitoring methods & equipment
02006006 Construction engineering (design, simulation)
09001002 Analyses / Test Facilities and Methods
09001008 Other Non Destructive Testing
Market application codes
08002002 Industrial measurement and sensing equipment
08002003 Process control equipment and systems
09003001 Engineering services
09003005 Consulting services
Intellectual property rights
Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA
Type of partner sought
The Argentine company seeks a strategic partner (SP) from the engineering or non-destructive testing (NDT) sectors to expand its unique services that can be applied in the EU/Global civil engineering market. The SP partner should have an international reach capable to lead and resource the geographic expansion of the company in worldwide/EU markets. Preferably engineering companies with expertise and technical capabilities in the non-destructive testing(NTD) sector.