The construction industry’s first artificial intelligence (AI) concrete strength prediction engine, used in the London City Airport expansion, is to be used across more live projects.

Built by Converge in collaboration with BAM Nuttall, the engine monitors and predicts material performance. Within hours of concrete being poured, the engine can predict the time a critical strength will be reached, several days in advance. It was developed using funding from an Innovate UK grant, awarded in 2018.

BAM Nuttall head of innovation Colin Evison said: “This advancement in construction technology is a game changer. The Converge prediction engine gives us insight into material performance we didn’t think possible. We are delighted to be Converge’s industry partner in bringing this exciting new tool to market.”

A spokesperson added: “Converge and BAM Nuttall are excited by the results at London City Airport and are securing other opportunities to use this technology on live projects.”

Converge’s real-time strength data enables construction companies to drive onsite efficiency and shorten concrete cycles. However, a customer survey revealed that often resulting actions weren’t being taken until hours after critical strengths were reached.

Converge product lead Sam Ellenby added: “Our users were waiting for concrete to hit a critical strength before scheduling the next activity, but this often meant that the site teams needed to strike formwork or tension the slab were deployed in other areas when the time came to act. Thus, critical actions were frequently delayed.”

Ellenby explained that Converge’s strength prediction engine aims to combat inefficiency and lost time by predicting the time a critical strength will be reached several days in advance.

A combination of local weather data, a database of historical concrete curing data and the concrete monitoring platform’s real-time measurements from the pour enables the critical strength prediction, with an accuracy of +/- 5%.

This allows teams to act precisely when needed, with the improved productivity keeping projects on track and potentially saving millions of pounds.

 

Source: New Civil Engineer

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