Through good times and bad, the concrete
market has continued to grow rapidly around the world. The material
is cheap and easy to produce and precast concrete elements have
long been used as key structural components in many constructions
like bridges, subway tunnels and sports stadiums. Unfortunately,
without sufficient monitoring and control procedures, quality has
remained variable and the rejection rate high.
This project was aimed at developing software
modules for decision making and quality control in the precast concrete
element production process. A thermal and structural module monitors
progress and simulates the results of the manufacturing process
during production, analysing temperature changes and structural
stress along the lengths of the elements. Meanwhile, an inspection
module performs quality control as recommended by ISO 9000, allowing
the user to define, in a flexible way, control parameters, scope
Both modules have now been tested successfully.
Partners say the new system will help to guarantee improved safety
and aesthetic appearance of many important constructions. Such issues
are especially pertinent in European cities like Lisbon where extensive
public works have been carried out since Expo 98.