AOMS Technologies

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AOMS LumiCon™ takes concrete sensor technology to the next level.

By Janice Hoppe-Spiers, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Publishing

AOMS Technologies is revolutionizing the art of concrete pouring for the construction industry with its fully integrated IoT based sensing system to achieve uninterrupted and remote monitoring of multidimensional performance data from concrete. “Fiber-optic cables are well adopted by the telecommunication industry as a reliable platform for the transmission of data over long distances, particularly in harsh environments. At AOMS, we have leveraged the legacy from the telecom industry and have converted fiber optic cables into active devices for both sensing and transmission of data,” Co-founder and COO, Amir Azhari says. “Light contains an incredible amount of information which can be correlated to the variation of different parameters such as temperature, humidity, moisture, vibration, and compression in the vicinity of fiber.”

Azhari and his partners at AOMS have identified a key challenge in the construction industry. “We have had many advancements in different sectors of the construction industry, however it seems that in-place monitoring of the performance of concrete is still a challenge and there is a need for a reliable and minimally intrusive solution” Azhari says. “Concrete is an indispensable part of many construction projects. However, it is crucial to know if the concrete has reached the designed strength after a certain period of time.” AOMS info box

AOMS has developed an integrated IoT solution based on its patented fiber optic sensing technology, named LumiCon™, to do a distributed sensing of temperature and moisture through a single sensor cable embedded inside the concrete. The data will be collected remotely from the concrete to provide a 3-D mapping of various information from concrete. LumiCon™ solution includes sensor hardware, cloud connectivity, and analytical software to convert temperature and moisture data into valuable information such as maturity and strength of the concrete which is accessible in real-time through any portable device. LumiCon™ does not require collection of data on the site which is a labor-intensive process. All the data gets synchronized in real-time in the cloud and can be accessed through a secured connection in any computer, smartphone, or tablet with internet access. 

AOMS LumiCon™ technology enables general contractors and ready-mix concrete producers to remotely collect continuous, distributed, and real-time information from concrete to help with controlling the curing conditions of the concrete and estimating the maturity and strength of concrete versus time. 

The real-time information provided by LumiCon™ eliminates the need for trips to job sites to collect data or samples for testing, which improves quality, minimizes delays, and reduces on-site labor cost. The company is offering a new use with additional benefits for existing technology. “Existing wireless sensors have to be tied to rebars and they cannot be installed deep into the concrete due to issues with wireless connectivity. And they are only single-point sensors,” Azhari explains. “Then you have to send someone to the site to hopefully connect to those sensors with phones or tablets to download the data. This is not real-time data." 

“With AOMS LumiCon™, there is no need to send workers to the site to collect the data, as the data gets sent automatically to the cloud and can be accessed with internet connection. In addition, the sensor cables can be laid deep into the concrete and they don’t need to be close to the surface.” 

The key features of this technology can be summarized as below:

• Distributed monitoring of temperature and moisture using a single sensing cable with no limit on the length;

• Distributed mapping of concrete maturity and strength based on ASTM C1074;

• Durable and reusable sensor hardware to minimize the capital cost of sensor deployment;

• Remote data collection with cloud connectivity;

• Customized alert for concrete temperature, dryness and strength; and

• Easy to install with no change in the job site workflow.

AOMS LumiCon™ system can enhance 3-D visibility into the performance of concrete, help with optimizing the workflow schedule for formwork and reshoring removal based on real-time and accurate information from concrete, prevent structural failures of concrete in cold weather conditions, particularly in critical locations, and help prevent damage to concrete due to early age freezing and thermal cracking. Further, LumiCon™ can also help optimize the heating process for concrete in cold weather conditions to save energy cost by distributed monitoring of temperature and humidity inside the concrete.

AOMS system can also be used after the completion of the construction projects for permanent monitoring of structural integrity of concrete. LumiCon™ also provides a real-time and distributed vibration and deformation sensing system for structural health monitoring of concrete over time. It can also be used to monitor moisture ingression inside the concrete which causes the corrosion of rebar which could result in structural failure. AOMS LumiCon™ informs asset owners about corrosion and initiation of disintegirty inside the concrete to prevent catastrophic events in critical infrastructure. 

Value of Real-time Data

For more than a century, concrete cylinder sampling has been the most common practice for monitoring concrete quality. The approach is slow, labor-intensive, offline, and inaccurate due to the time gap between sampling and testing. Cylinder sampling is inconsistent with the mass concrete curing process and not accepted for cold weather conditions, particularly when fast curing concretes are used. “The other issue here is that the test results aren’t very accurate,” Azhari says. “Because you can’t compare small concrete cylinder samples with a mass slab of concrete. They cure very differently; the cylinder samples sit in a lab while the concrete slab is cured in an outdoor environment. Samples are not a good representation of the concrete slab in the field.”

AOMS LumiCon™ offers construction companies real-time understanding of concrete curing to optimize workflow schedules. “We help construction companies save time and advance schedule by 20 percent, which turns into many months of reduction in project duration in large construction projects and generates millions of dollars in savings,” Azhari notes. “They can tell from our system in real-time that the strength has been reached to the point where the work can continue.” 

About AOMS

AOMS, an Ontario-based company, was founded in 2014 by Amir Azhari, Hamid Alemohammad and Richard Liang who were working together in a research lab at the University of Waterloo to develop their patented fiber optic sensor technology. AOMS Technologies offers an end-to-end hardware/software solution integrated with state-of-the-art Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to address the monitoring needs in industrial applications. “Our products are developed mainly for harsh environments and hard-to-access locations where conventional electronic sensors fail, lose performance or cannot be effectively deployed,” the company explains. “We serve customers in construction, environmental, industrial asset management, oil and gas, process industry and infrastructure monitoring.” 

As a full-service solutions provider, AOMS Technologies’ plug-and-play fiber-optic sensor technology offers easy-to-use connectivity for all its customers’ unique sensing requirements. The company’s monitoring system can measure multiple physical and chemical parameters such as temperature, pressure, liquid level, humidity, hydrocarbon chemicals, displacement, stress and vibration. “What we offer is not just a sensor, but the entire solution,” Azhari says. “We collect data from the field in real-time and stream them to our cloud-based software to convert them into meaningful information for our clients. As an example, by distributed monitoring of temperature and moisture inside the concrete, our clients can have continuous information about the maturity and strength of concrete in real-time.” 

How it Works

The first fiber-optic breakthrough discovery dates back to the 1960s and has most commonly been used in the telecommunications industry. Over the past few years, the technology has been emerging for use as a sensing device. “AOMS has developed a platform technology that can be engineered and customized for monitoring multiple parameters based on the behavior of the light through the fiber optic cable for different applications, particularly in harsh environments. This system is exceptionally reliable for monitoring in industrial applications since it only relies on the modulation of light and there is no electricity involved in the sensing process,” Azhari explains. “Our products are designed in ruggedized packaging to withstand harsh environments and can be easily deployed in the application areas.”

AOMS fiber-optic-based IoT technology harnesses the power of optical waves reflected from the core of optical fibers. Light traveling in the core of fiber optics is modulated by the changes in the surrounding environment as a result of changes in the environment around the fiber optic. The modulation of the optical waves is correlated to the measurement parameters. By leveraging the wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology, originally developed for fiber optic telecommunication, the optical signals are mapped to physical locations along fiber optic cable for multi-point sensing also known as quasi-distributed sensing. The sensor cables can be as long as a few meters up to a few kilometers with more than 100s of sensor points on each cable. 

Once the project is completed, the fiber optic sensor cables can be retrieved and repackaged for the next project. Hence, the sensor cables can be saved and used repeatedly in different projects. 

AOMS Technologies sets itself apart from the competition by offering a full stack of IoT solution including hardware, connectivity, and software. Unlike wireless sensors, AOMS’s distributed sensor cables are recoverable and can be used for multiple jobs, significantly reducing the capital cost of concrete construction. The sensors are easy to install without any changes in the site workflow and have been designed for seamless operation in cold and warm weather conditions.

AOMS Technologies will be showcasing LumiCon™ in January during World of Concrete in Las Vegas. “We want to get the word out about our product and the features of this technology,” Azhari adds. “The market is currently well aware of the value of embedded sensors inside the concrete for monitoring maturity and strength of concrete in-real time and particularly, in cold weather conditions. American Concrete Institute has also published the latest edition of ACI 306R-16 Standard which emphasizes on the necessity of embedded sensors to monitor the quality of concrete in cold weather conditions.”

Delivering Insight

AOMS Technologies prides itself on its ability to offer a solution that can help construction companies not only in the concrete curing process and monitoring of structural integrity, but also in providing a comprehensive and complete solution for different needs in the industry with respect to concrete. 

“In the future, we see our technology helping construction companies not only save time in their projects but also monitoring the performance of concrete using our deflection and corrosion monitoring system.” Azhari says. 

Concrete Monitoring

AOMS LumiCon™ technology enables general contractors and ready-mix concrete producers to remotely collect continuous, distributed and real-time temperature and moisture data form concrete to help with controlling the curing conditions of the concrete. 

Applications include:

• Foundation and structural concrete

• Mass concrete pours

• Cold and hot weather concrete pours

• Forms construction

• Bridges

• Cooling towers

• High-rise buildings

• Parking garages

• Highway paving

• Mass transit

• Spillways and dams

• Tunnels 

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