Surface-mounted crack detection


In many mechanical and civil devices, structures are used for mechanical supports that are susceptible to cracking. Frequently due to loading conditions and stress concentrations, certain parts of the structural surfaces are known to have a higher risk of cracking than others. Cracks caused or assisted by fluctuating loading or degradation of a composition for example, are significant problems in a wide variety or areas. The surface-mounted sensor can be customized to any complex shape and bridge across built-up constructs composed of a mix of differing materials.

Technology transfer

This technology is available for licensing. There is an opportunity for this invention to be developed for particular applications and for demonstration of the final product through a collaborative research project. The business opportunity may be referred to by its NRC ID: 11766.

Market applications

Applications for this technology are extensive including: transportation, aerospace, marine and construction.

How it works

A cementitious compound provides a brittle undercoat for making a surface-mounted crack sensor on a surface. A low elongation and low tensile strength of the cementitious compound have proven valuable in ensuring that cracks in the underlying surface are transmitted through the undercoat so that a trace of conductive ink or paint on the undercoat more reliably detects the crack. The apparatus is useful for detecting a crack on a region or a surface. The trace defines at least one region that permits an interrogator to determine the continuity of the trace. The trace may consist of a plurality of traces arrayed to provide indications of a size of a crack or to identify a position of the crack.


  • Non-destructive testing
  • Low cost and reliable
  • Can be done outside of working hours
  • Surface mounted and customizable



To inquire about this technology, please contact:

David Fraser, Business Advisor
Telephone: 613-991-9972

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