Smart, Convenient Screws Keep Bridges & Machines Secure Without The Excess Labor

Have you ever wondered how large infrastructure like bridges, wind turbines, or giant machines stay intact? Well, turns out most of them require workers to spend many man-hours conducting checks to ensure nothing’s amiss.

Now, researchers at the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies CCIT have come up with a solution that can cut down the manpower needed to keep these structures safe, by designing a ‘Smart Screw Connection’ that monitors the reliability of screws from miles away…

Enter the Smart Screw Connection, which addresses this problem by equipping each screw with a washer and piezoresistive DiaForce thin film. Upon tightening the screw, its sensors take note of the preload force and consistently monitor any changes to the figure.

If the preload force were to change due to the screw becoming loose, a change in electrical resistance occurs in the film, which is then “reported to a radio module located on the screw head.”