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NDT.net Issue - 2007-08 - NEWS

Matech Expert Opinion on Minneapolis Bridge Collapse


Material Technologies Inc6, Los Angeles, CA [USA]
civil engineering, bridge, disaster
NEWS  
NDT.net Journal
Issue: 2007-08
Material Technologies’ Electrochemical Fatigue Sensor (EFS) and Fatigue Fuse Can Determine Actively Growing Cracks in Bridges and Continuously Monitor Accumulated Fatigue in Real-Time
Expert Opinion on River I-35 Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis
Available from Material Technologies, Inc.

Los Angeles, CA….August 1, 2007 -- Material Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: MTTG) has the only nondestructive field testing device able to find growing cracks in bridge structural members as small as 0.01 inches in length and some non-surface breaking cracks - critical information that allows structural engineers to isolate and repair steel bridges in the U.S.; competing technologies do not detect crack growth.

Material Technologies, Inc.’s Electrochemical Fatigue Sensor (EFS) is a nondestructive crack inspection technology, similar in concept to a medical EKG. It can be used to determine if actively growing fatigue cracks are present. An EFS sensor is first applied to the fatigue sensitive location on the bridge or metal structure, and then is injected with an electrolyte at which point a small voltage is applied. The system subsequently monitors changes in the current response that results from the exposure of fresh steel during crack propagation. The EFS system consists of an electrolyte, a sensor array and potentiostat for applying a constant polarizing voltage between the bridge and sensor, as well as data collection and analysis software. The current response from the sensor array, which consists of a crack measurement sensor and a reference sensor, are collected, analyzed and compared with the system software. An algorithm, specifically written for this system, automatically indicates the level of fatigue crack activity at the inspection location.

Benefits:

  1. Replaces “wait-and-see” approach by allowing immediate detection of growing cracks at known and unknown locations, as well as at repairs
  2. Increases the safety of the infrastructure and the efficiency of bridge management through better and more timely fatigue crack detection
  3. More accurate assessment of condition ratings – extends the life of the structure through early identification and repair of growing cracks
  4. Determines which cracks need immediate attention and which repairs can be deferred or eliminated; helps bridge owners utilize repair and rehabilitation funds more effectively
  5. Repairs/retrofits can be verified immediately – no re-inspection needed

Fatigue Fuse - a sensor that continuously monitors accumulated fatigue in real time. Each sensor, which is comprised of several notched metal strips, is adhered to certain "high-stress" areas of a metal structure. As the structure experiences varying stresses and strains, individual notches crack and separate at calibrated fractions, thereby indicating the amount of fatigue life remaining.

Robert M. Bernstein, CEO, of Material Technologies commented on the River I-35 bridge collapse tragedy in Minneapolis saying: “A recent AP article stated that the May 2006 evaluation of the I-35 bridge recommended monitoring of ‘fatigue cracking’ on the bridge’s girders. This type of tragedy can be prevented. The visual inspection techniques that are the industry standard for evaluating fatigue and cracks are simply not adequate. Our EFS and Fatigue Fuse technologies are relatively inexpensive and efficient ways to monitor growing crack issues in real-time.”

Bridging the Facts

  • Fatigue is one of the leading causes of bridge structural problems
  • All 600,000 bridges listed in the National Bridge Inventory (NBI) require biennial inspection, as mandated by National Bridge Inspection Standards
  • Approximately $400 million is spent annually on inspection of small- to medium-size steel bridges.
  • Visual Inspection is the most used inspection method, and according to the Federal Highway Association, about 90% of fatigue cracks are missed during visual inspections
  • A bridge failure (closure/ collapse) occurs once a week on average in the US – causing highway congestion, which ultimately affects economic productivity
  • Average age of a bridge is > 50 years old – most bridges in the US are designed for a 50-year life
  • 26% of U.S. bridges are not designed to handle current traffic levels or need major repairs; among the 11 Northeastern states, 39% of bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete (The Road Information Program®, TRIP, 2005)

About Material Technologies, Inc.

Material Technologies Inc., also known as MATECH, was founded in 1983 and is based in Los Angeles. It is an engineering, research and development company that specializes in technologies to measure microscopic fractures in metal structures and to monitor metal fatigue. The Company has already completed significant work for the federal government -- generating $8.3 million to develop technology to detect metal fatigue in aircraft and steel bridge components. It has also received $5 million in private investments. Building on that base of experience and capital, it is now beginning to market its technologies to companies and government agencies involved in the inspection of metal highway and railroad bridges. To learn more, go to www.matechcorp.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements. Such statements are indicated by words or phrases such as "believe," "will," "breakthrough," "significant," "indicated," "feel," "revolutionary," "should," "ideal," "extremely" and "excited." These statements are made under "Safe Harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements and are subject to risks and uncertainties. See the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including, without limitation, the Company's recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Qs, which identify specific factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.

Contact:

Material Technologies, Inc.
Robert Bernstein, 310-208-5589
matech@matechcorp.com
www.matechcorp.com

More of Material Technologies Inc published in NDT.net
2007-08-01: Material Technologies Chief Engineer Comments on Bridge Disaster for Fox News
2007-03-01: Material Technologies, Inc. Invited to Present at the 2007 China Bridge Congress
2006-10-01: Material Technologies, Inc. Receives Its First Commercial Bridge Inspection Contract for Bridges in Pennsylvania
2006-09-01: UTEK Completes Technology Transfer with Material Technologies, Inc.
2006-05-01: Finding growing cracks in bridges as small as 0.010 inches


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