Infrastructure constructed in reinforced or pre-stressed concrete is the backbone of transportation, energy production, water distribution and waste-water treatment worldwide. Aging of this infrastructure is one of the most serious problems faced by society today with huge annual costs that amount to several percent of the GNP with clearly increasing trend. The use of well-known and established NDT techniques such as half-cell potential mapping and resistivity measurements could greatly improve the quality and information content of the regular inspections, based today essentially on a visual survey only. The problem of accessibility of the structures can be overcome with new automated devices such as the climbing robot presented in this paper. When applied also on new structures, concepts such as “birth certificate” become a completely new dimension and the quality of new and repaired reinforced concrete structures can be greatly improved. The challenges for the future are integrating this information in a comprehensive way into the bridge management systems for a more rational decision-making and a pro-active repair strategy.
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