Using KUMONOS, it’s possible to measure cracks quickly and accurately from a safe distance. On this page, we would like to share briefly about the background and the importance of crack inspections which has been recognized in Japan.
The Rapid Increase in Deteriorated Structures
Concrete structures usually have a useful life-span of approximately 50 years. Generally, a number of structures are simultaneously constructed in the high economic growth period.
To cite bridges in Japan, a lot of bridges were built between the 1960s through the 1980s, and in the next 20 years, over half of the bridges will have exceeded 50 years in age. This rapid increase in structures that need to be repaired puts constraints on a budget.
In recent days, deteriorated concrete structures such as dams, bridges and tunnels have been a serious problem.
The picture on the left is of the Minneapolis Bridge Collapse accident. Just the other day in Japan, a ceiling panel in a tunnel collapsed, killing 9 people.
Throughout the world, deterioration is said to have been the cause of structural collapse on countless occasions in the past.
Similarly in all over the world (Malaysia), structures will deteriorate and it is highly possible that such problems are likely to occur. Inspecting structures when they have deteriorated or when a serious problem has already occurred is too late to be of any use. Based on the experience of Japan, the US and other developed countries, it is obvious that the accurate inspections and the appropriate precautions against the aging of structures are required from the early stage of their life-time in order NOT to repeat the same mistake that the developed countries made.
Trends in Construction and Repair Cost
Accurate inspections and the appropriate precautions are significant from an economic point of view, too. During the time of high economic growth in Japan, around 40 years ago, construction was the hero, but repair was the supporting cast.
However, as eco-awareness is currently increasing, preserving existing structures is valued more than constructing new structures. In Japan repair cost has been increasing and is nearly equal to construction cost now.
If we leave existing structures unrepaired, extensive repair will be needed and repair cost would be high as shown by the red line.
On the other hand, by taking proper precautions in order of priority based on regular inspections, we can save on future costs. Additionally, we can prevent future tragedies and save human lives. The same can be said for all over the world.
Why are crack inspections necessary?
Although there are various causes for deterioration, one thing that what always appears as a sign of deterioration are cracks. Cracks are relatively easy to inspect and by doing so enables the position and the cause of the defects to be identified.
Furthermore, by monitoring the growth of cracks over time, the future progression of damages can be analyzed.
That is why cracks are one of the most important things to look for in inspections.
So regularly inspecting cracks in the early stages is necessary and it can determine the proper timing for repairs and prevent future tragedies.
Conventional crack inspections
However, the conventional method of inspecting cracks requires a lot of effort and cost
First, we need to assemble scaffolds or use a boom-lift in order to approach cracks in high places.
Then, measure cracks one by one with a crack scale like this(left)
And finally sketch cracks in order to save the data.
Working in high places exposes workers to danger. Despite this risk, the collected data is not accurate because the sketched data varies by the inspectors’ sketches. This inaccurate data makes it difficult to track changes in cracks over time. KUMONOS solves these problems.
Inspections using KUMONOS
KUMONOS makes it possible to remotely measure cracks, while ensuring inspectors’ safety and recording digital data. Cracks in unreachable places become measurable from a safe distance.
KUMONOS saves labor and cost because it does away with the need to use scaffolds or to sketch cracks. KUMONOS not only reduces steps, but also shortens the time needed to measure cracks and draw figures. Furthermore, KUMONOS provides safe, accurate and fast crack inspections.