NDT.net May 2006, Vol. 11 No.5

Finding growing cracks in bridges as small as 0.010 inches
Material Technologies Invited to Present Its Metal Fatigue Detection Solutions at Several Major National Infrastructure Engineering Conferences

LOS ANGELES, CA -- 04/05/2006 -- Material Technologies, Inc. (OTC BB: MTNA) ("MATECH") announced that it has been selected to present its innovative metal fatigue detection technology at three key national and international infrastructure engineering conferences this summer. MATECH's renowned bridge engineering expert Dr. Brent Phares, PE, has been invited to lead technical presentations on the application of the company's patented Electrochemical Fatigue Sensor (EFS™) system to accurately detect growing fatigue cracks in metals, a topic of interest to the thousands of attending bridge engineers and transportation agencies charged with maintaining bridge safety.

Interest in MATECH's EFS system has been spurred by the recent $286 billion Federal Transportation Bill which allocated $5 million to help states evaluate nondestructive methods such as EFS to test growing fatigue cracks in steel bridges. The nation's aging bridge infrastructure system is a major cause for concern, with more than 100,000 of the 200,000 steel bridges in the U.S. classified as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

"The Transportation Equity Act set aside funds for the FHWA to test devices capable of finding growing cracks in bridges as small as 0.010 inches in length and also under the surface. Our EFS solution is the only nondestructive testing device able to find growing cracks that small," said MATECH CEO, Robert M. Bernstein. "There has been a great deal of interest in our system among structural engineers and federal and state agencies and we are very pleased to be invited to showcase EFS for them at these major industry events."

In June the EFS system will be highlighted at the 23rd International Bridge Conference held in Pittsburgh, PA. During the presentation Dr. Phares, who is MATECH's Marketing Director, will discuss the fundamentals of the EFS system and illustrate its applicability by presenting previous inspection results and comparisons with other techniques. This conference will be attended by both state DOT bridge engineers and consulting engineers who provide bridge inspection services.

Dr. Phares has been selected to present the EFS system at the International Conference on Fatigue and Fracture of Infrastructure in Philadelphia, PA in early August. This unique conference will bring together the world's experts in the mechanics, detection, and remediation of fatigue-related damage to bridges.

In late August Dr. Phares will discuss the EFS system at the American Society of Nondestructive Testing Conference on Civil Engineering in St. Louis, MO. This conference, which is attended by bridge engineers representing nearly every state, will offer a unique opportunity to discuss the technology with those most in need of better inspection information.

The EFS is a device employing electrochemical/mechanical principles of interaction to measure the state of fatigue damage in a metal structural member, detecting the most minute cracks in the structural metal. It can find cracks in metals at a resolution of a few microns, exceeding the current state of the art by ten times or more. EFS relies on a patented electrical test method, which monitors the current flow at the surface of a metal while it is being mechanically strained. Analysis of the results of this method indicates crack initiation and is expected to yield accurate information concerning crack growth rate. It is expected to make a positive impact on critical structural member inspection methods, and its diagnostic accuracy, compared with existing inspection systems, fits perfectly with growing concerns over the aging infrastructure in certain industries, such as bridges, and aerospace, and the danger of fatigue failure in virtually all industries with metal-based structures or equipment, subject to cyclic loading.
For more information see Technology Review: The Electrochemical Fatigue Sensor

About Material Technologies, Inc.

MATECH develops leading edge metal fatigue detection, measurement and monitoring solutions to test the integrity of metal structures and equipment including bridges, airplanes, ships, cranes, power plants, mining equipment, piping systems and heavy iron. MATECH has developed and tested patented, pioneering non-destructive testing technology (NDT) to accurately analyze growing metal fatigue cracks. MTNA owns the only NDT system able to find growing cracks as minute as 0.010 inches--critical information that allows structural engineers to isolate and fix the more than one hundred thousand bridges in the U.S. alone that are in dire need of repair. More information can be found at www.matechcorp.com.

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