MATECH Corp. Completes Inspection for Union Pacific Railroadadmin
MATECH Corp. announced that it has completed an inspection on one Union Pacific Railroad (UP) Bridge in Nebraska using its Electrochemical Fatigue Sensor (EFS) System. The EFS technology provides information about growing cracks in structural members in a single inspection. It can also be used to verify retrofit effectiveness at the time of retrofit, without using the “wait and see” method that other technologies require.
The inspection was performed in September and the report identified that there are cracks which are now dormant and others that are actively growing. One location, that had no visibly detected cracking, showed active crack growth.
This type of information allows bridge owners to prioritize repairs and personnel resources in relation to safety. This reduces costly unnecessary repairs and retrofits on inactive areas and redirects the funds to the cracks which are actively growing. Also, it helps to prevent similar problems in the future by catching the fatigue at its inception.
MATECH has devised a new testing method that allowed for far more coverage of the bridge than originally planned. This new sampling method is being discussed for other inspections, including a location currently in the planning stage with HNTB and PennDOT.
Ms. Miceli, MATECH’s COO, said, “We feel this is a significant entry into the rail market. Prior to this inspection, we had focused our rail efforts on results for railway associations, such as the American Railway Association project completed last year which predicted, and then verified those predictions, on their 2-mile test-track in Pueblo Colorado. With this inspection, and the one completed for the Canadian National Railway earlier this year, we are now seeing how widespread use of the EFS will translate to potential cost savings, safety improvements, and bridge life extensions for the rail companies directly.”
Robert M. Bernstein, MATECH’s CEO, says, “I am pleased to see our technology delivering new forms of return on investment for the rail industry. We look forward to quick expansion to other bridges and rail firms. We see an environment of quick action developing in this industry as evidenced by the ‘big 4′ railroads’ cooperation on the positive train control legislation and last week’s signature by President Bush of the safety bill.”
The final comprehensive report will be issued to UP later this month.
MATECH is an engineering, research and development company specializing in technologies to measure microscopic fractures and flaws in metal structures and monitor metal fatigue in real time. The company’s leading edge metal fatigue detection, measurement and monitoring solutions can accurately test the integrity of metal structures and equipment including bridges, railroads, airplanes, ships, cranes, power plants, mining equipment, piping systems and heavy iron.
MATECH owns the only nondestructive testing technology able to find growing cracks as minute as 0.01 inches. MATECH has exclusive rights to seven patents along with $8.3 million in already completed contracts from the US Government for research, testing and validation of its innovative solutions.