NARPS: Non-Destructive Assessment of the Resistivity, Chloride and Carbonation Profiles in Reinforced Concrete Structures

Summary of the technology

NARPS is an innovative hand-held, non-destructive instrument for the detection of chlorides and carbonation in reinforced concrete.

DIT Hothouse

New and innovative aspects

Reinforced concrete, containing embedded steel reinforcement, is widely used in all forms of civil infrastructure. Over time, the steel bars can begin to corrode. Researchers in Dublin Institute of Technology’s Civil Engineering Research Group (CERG) have developed an innovative hand-held, non-destructive instrument (NARPS) for the detection of chlorides and carbonation in reinforced concrete. 

Main advantages of its use

1. Fast & Reliable Field Testing – NARPS does not require concrete dust extractions or laboratory testing, and minimises turnaround and site access time and costs.

2. Ease of Use – NARPS operates by being placed in direct contact with the structure under test, thus removing the need for drilling and dust removal, while maintaining structural integrity and removing the need for laboratory analysis.

3. Minimised disruption – because the NARPS sensor-head only needs to be in contact with the surface under test for a short time, it causes minimal disruption. This is extremely important when testing in difficult, hard to reach locations where high traffic volumes are present.

4. Flexibility – the core technology can be used on a wide range of concrete structures


This technology can apply to any structure which uses reinforced concrete, with a particular emphasis on:

• Bridges – NARPS could find applications in the construction of concrete structures including in-situ and precast bridges, as well as the in-situ maintenance and inspection sector.

• Pre-Cast structures – applications include buildings, landscaping, storage tanks, culverts, 3-sided structures, highway and trafficbarriers, retaining walls, etc.

• Piers – applications include water interacting structures due to their placement in harsh marine environments which are often completely submerged or saturated with water

Intellectual property status

An initial patent application for “Detection System and Method in Concrete Structures” was filed in 2014 – GB1406000.8.

Current development status

NARPS is at laboratory prototype stage with initial results showing strong correlation between measurements obtained and level of corrosion. State funding has been received to build out a commercial-ready prototype.

Desired business relationship

DIT is currently seeking expressions of interest from companies interested in licensing and developing products based on this technology.

More Information

Click here to download the NARPS Technology Information Sheet

Related Keywords

  • Construction Technology
  • Materials, components and systems for construction
  • Construction methods and equipment
  • Building materials
  • Construction and Building Products
  • Engineering and consulting services related to construction
  • Manufacture of construction materials, components and systems
  • Construction companies
  • manufacturing competetiveness

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