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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - COBRI (Ultrasound NDE tomograph. Design and construction of a portable 3D ultrasound scanner for non-destructive testing and evaluation (NDT and NDE) of concrete in bridges and other building structures)

COBRI Report Summary

Project ID: 698081

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - COBRI (Ultrasound NDE tomograph. Design and construction of a portable 3D ultrasound scanner for non-destructive testing and evaluation (NDT and NDE) of concrete in bridges and other building structures)

Reporting period: 2015-11-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Based on a novel smart design (patent granted) for ultrasonic Image data capture from solid materials like concrete, shall the project develop and implement a fully functional model of a hand held NDT/E (Non-Destructive Testing /Evaluation) instrument. This user friendly NDE tomograph (3D-scanner) shall be able to scan 10 times faster than the current state of the art instrument, with better resolution in a human readable format. This innovative solution will simplify and improve current bridge inspection methods and consequently improve safety, enhance capital investments and road infrastructure capacity. This business project will be the fundament for future technological and commercial expansion for Elop. Validation of the instrument is performed by highly qualified expertise in bridge inspection and NDT (COWI Denmark, Ramboll Norway and Denmark). This validation will also be an introduction of the product to the end users and customers as part of the exploitation and dissemination work. ELOP collaborates with partners such as Prevas AS, Aurotech Ultrasound AS, COWI, RAMBOL in order to fulfil this project. The company has received significant grants from Innovation Norway, the Regional Research Fund Inland and EU program Horizon 2020 in addition to its own investments.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

A poster presentation during NDT-CE 2015 in Berlin had risen a significant interest among leading industrial players. One of them, namely Proceq, initiated series of face-to-face meetings in January-March, 2016 which led to a discussion on the possible collaboration. The player has been on the market for more than 60 years and has built up a global distribution network, which would allow ELOP to reduce time-to-market significantly.
The next event 19th WCNDT where ELOP presented was held on June 13-17, 2016 in Munich. The poster P130 was entitled “COBRI – a rolling ultrasonic 3D scanner for NDT of concrete”. It resulted in initiating a primary contact with following meeting between ELOP, Areva and Elcometer. Meeting with Elcometer was held in Manchester on July 25, 2016. Their representative is going to come to ELOP by the end of September. The visit to Areva is being scheduled for the beginning of October.
The following potential customers were approached and interviewed: Norwegian Public Road Administration, COWI, and Ramboll. The Voice of the Customer exercise was conducted with all of them. The results are reported within WP1, D1.2. These customers are going to be the first users, who would assist with product validation and further certification.
A consulting company Eiger Corporate AS was contracted to perform ELOP’s valuation and create an information memorandum (IM), which is being used in communications with potential investors. The IM was finished. The list of industrial as well as financial investors was generated. Some them were contacted prior to 19th WCNDT and met during the conference.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

In order to meet the huge demand for better NDT instrumentation Elop shall complete and qualify our patent pending ultrasonic transducer rollers with associated hardware and software in an innovative instrument. This instrument will represent a dramatic improvement with respect to ease of handling, efficiency and presentation of the results in a human readable format. Our first product is a lightweight handheld ultrasound scanner. This novel design will open new applications in inspection and interpretation of internal conditions of concrete structures using only one instrument. Optimising the use of existing infrastructure through better safety assessment and monitoring procedures will avoid interventions and unnecessarily replacing or rehabilitating structures that are in fact perfectly safe. Our instrument will give new reliable data on internal defects of bridges that can be used to catalogue the condition of the asset and modelling the cost of maintaining the bridge stock. Such optimized maintenance will give less frequent or extensive service interruptions and in fact increase capacity. Under-investment or wrong investment in maintenance will lead to deterioration of the stock and translate into higher long term costs.

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