The Research Group on Materials and Structural Analysis – SMART Diagnostic Procedures, established at the Faculty of Technology and Informatics of the University of Pécs (PTE MIK), researches and tests methods that build our built environment. help increase and maintain their security. With non-destructive procedures, they are able to determine the structural safety and load-bearing capacity of structures, and to determine the movement of structures without any physical impact on the structure. The research combines the knowledge of border areas, so that civil engineers can use geophysical methods, such as radar, and in the near future, satellite radar to study the supporting structures. In this way, they are able to accurately determine changes in their position and, by detecting displacements of up to millimeters, they can predict possible catastrophes.
In order to determine the structural safety, reliability and load-bearing capacity of a building structure, must, inter alia, the characteristics of the structure, the geometrical and material characteristics, as well as the extent of the injuries and damage acquired during its existence. A building is planned for about fifty years today, but that does not mean that it will be demolished after fifty years, but rather remodeled and rebuilt. In order to maintain it further, it is essential that professionals are aware of the degree of wear and tear – which can be determined by various special diagnostic methods. The detection and recognition of internal damage is aided by magnetic or electromagnetic methods, endoscopic examinations, special material testing procedures, while the change of the global support structure is also aided by 3D laser scanners, drones and computer modeling programs. The combined application of several diagnostic procedures helps to determine the technical condition of the building and to find a suitable solution for the purpose.
The research group on diagnostics and analysis of structures has been operating at PTE MIK for about ten years – this predecessor of the current professional platform – which has participated in a number of major international projects and tenders, they have also been able to develop their state-of-the-art equipment. The Materials and Structure Analysis – SMART Diagnostic Procedures research group primarily works on the development of construction testing and qualification procedures that help increase the safety, economical and environmentally conscious maintenance of our built environment. In addition to structural safety, an important element of their research is the study of the harmful effects of building materials on human health and the reduction of environmental impact through the recycling of industrial and construction waste materials. The micro-characteristics of new building materials (mainly cementitious materials) made from recycled materials and their harmful effects on human health shall be examined, inter alia.
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“When recycling materials from the demolition of buildings, it should be taken into account that a large number of buildings were built between 1950 and 1990 using industrial waste materials, such as coal by-products (slag, fly ash, coal slag, etc.). The demolition material could be reused to a large extent, but it must be taken into account that these waste materials have a certain degree of radioactivity and other harmful effects on health, so their recycling is subject to health restrictions. Therefore, we also involve medical researchers and the staff of the Occupational Health and Hygiene Center of the University of Pécs in the assessment of health aspects, “emphasizes the importance of the research. Zoltán Orbán, Director of the Institute of Engineering and Smart Technologies of the University of Pécs, Head of the research group
Another important research area is related to the recycling of concrete waste. Currently, huge amounts of concrete waste are generated worldwide, and their storage and sensible recycling is a growing problem. The research team is developing a new material testing and design methodology that is expected to be a much more efficient way to reuse this waste material than before. The primary expected result of the research is market utilization, but new scientific results are also published regularly. The Materials and Structure Analysis – SMART Diagnostic Procedures research group also has a youth department, and the students studying in the faculty also take an active part in the laboratory work and publishing activities. In addition, industrial and academic partners will assist in the work.
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