University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
This project studied the feasibility of applying new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology – particularly passive tag technology – to infrastructure projects that incorporate recycled concrete aggregates. The goals were to advance the technology for passive RFID wireless system for embedment in concrete to monitor the behavior of the material under loading, and other structural health monitoring scenarios. RFID tabs with temperature and strain measurement were studied, and the performance constraints that affect data logging were assessed. When RFID tags are embedded into concrete, the attenuation of the electromagnetic wave through concrete is correlated with the embedment depth, moisture content, concrete density, and aggregate mineralogy. The study considered these and other variables that affect passive RFID systems and suggest an approximate equation to estimate the attenuation. The project assessed the accuracy and data logging rates to validate the strain readings from passive RFID systems with other independent instruments. The early age monitoring of recycled aggregate concrete will be conducted with the RFID system. This project is a precursor to a field test at O’Hare International Airport to demonstrate the survivability of RFID systems for real-world operation in aggressive weather conditions.