EGU2020-5866, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Additive Manufacturing of electrical strain gauges for the monitoring of embankment failures

Hao Chen, Panagiotis Michalis, and Manousos Valyrakis
Hao Chen et al.
  • University of Glasgow, Civil Engineering , United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (

Embankments, found in virtually all transportation and river networks, can be subjected to severe scouring and erosion issues due to more intensified climatic change, which may increase their failure risk [1]. Monitoring of embankment conditions with modern means is essential for ensuring the structural stability of nearby infrastructure (eg. roads and rail networks) against any geotechnical and hydraulic hazards [2, 3]. Additive manufacturing (AM), commonly referred to as 3D printing (3DP), is increasingly finding applications in the construction industry and is defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International Committee as “the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer”. This research is demonstrating the application of additive manufacturing technology in producing an electrical resistance strain gauge mechanism [2] to monitor the probability of embankment scouring failure, thus, warning could be given prior any devastating catastrophes, and preventive measures could be implemented accordingly. Electrical resistance strain gauges could be manufactured utilizing a dual-extrusion 3D printer which allows simultaneous depositions of a conductive material and a structural material in one print. Specifically, a range of control parameters are assessed here including different arrangements of the conductive material within the structural material matrix as well as infill percentages. The parameters aforementioned have effects on the gauge factor of the strain gauges produced. Overall, the 3DP sensors could be deployed to monitor embankment slope failure attributed to erosion, flooding and external loading (eg. due to heavy vehicle passage over it, for road embankments), which are important challenges [2, 3].



This research project has been funded by Transport Scotland, under the 2019/20 Innovation Fund (Scheme ID18/SE/0401/014) and the Scottish Road Research Board (Student research competition award 2019).



[1] Koursari, E., Wallace, S., Valyrakis, M. and Michalis, P. (2019). The need for real time and robust sensing of infrastructure risk due to extreme hydrologic events, 2019 UK/ China Emerging Technologies (UCET), Glasgow, United Kingdom, 2019, pp. 1-3. doi: 10.1109/UCET.2019.8881865


[2] Michalis, P., Saafi, M. and Judd, M. (2012) Wireless sensor networks for surveillance and monitoring of bridge scour. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of Protection and Restoration of the Environment (KatsifarakisKL, Theodossiou N, Christodoulatos C, Koutsospyros Aand Mallios Z (eds)). Thessaloniki, Greece, pp. 1345–1354


[3] Michalis, P.; Konstantinidis, F.; Valyrakis, M. (2019) The road towards Civil Infrastructure 4.0 for proactive asset management of critical infrastructure systems. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Natural Hazards & Infrastructure (ICONHIC), Chania, Greece, 23–26 June 2019.

How to cite: Chen, H., Michalis, P., and Valyrakis, M.: Additive Manufacturing of electrical strain gauges for the monitoring of embankment failures, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5866,, 2020