Antoine Bassil presents innovative sensors of cracks

Multimedia March 2019 VideoMaterials and structuresMonitoring and intrumentation

With Antoine Bassil, PhD student at GERS Department

On 14th of August 2018 , the Morandi bridge in Genoa (Italy) collapsed, leading to at least 39 victims. Why didn’t they anticipate this catastrophy?
It’s very expensive to replace bridges, thus the only way to keep them in a good condition as long as possible, is to monitor the health of the structure to make sure that it is safe enough.


The monitoring uses a combination of sensors. These sensors are regularly measuring a few vital signs which are the main indicators of a bridge condition.

So what type of sensors should we use? Antoine Bassil recommends optical fibers, having the thickness of a human hair, which are able to track the strain all over the length of the structure. And as a result, replacing more than 10 000 traditional sensors with just one tiny fiber.


The cracks, when becoming big enough, can affect the safety of the structure.  These cracks are what Antoine Bassil is interested in, during his PhD at Ifsttar (Bouguenais) as part of INFRASTAR ITN project.

During the last two years, he showed that these special sensors can detect small cracks before traditional sensors and find their exact location.

And more importantly, it is also possible to follow the opening of these cracks so that when they are big enough, civil engineers can intervene and repair the structure.


The next step for Antoine Bassil will be studying the durability of the sensors, to put them on a bridge we cross everyday and make our journey peaceful and safe enough!





Watch the presentation in english of Antoine Bassil's thesis (video - 3'19)


More information about the Infrastar project



Antoine Bassil presents innovative sensors of cracks - Ifsttar - Infrastar