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* 1 , 1 , 1 , 2
1  Dpto. Tecnologia de la Edificacion (U.P.M.), Madrid, Spain
2  Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, Spain


There are a lot of historic buildings whose construction is based on timber frame walls. Most of the constructed buildings during the nineteenth and early twentieth century were based on walls of timber frame with vertical support element.

These timber frame elements are affected both by the moisture content, such as the time variation of it. The maintenance of these buildings could be significantly improved if was known the interaction of the wall timber framing with hygrothermal climate variations.

To determine the moisture content of the wood there are two types of meters on the market: one hand capacitance meters which consist of two side ends and the moisture content is measured locally between two peaks. On the other hand, there are meters based on the variation of electromagnetic transmittance (on the range of the microwave) of timber depending on the moisture of it. The first one is cheaper, but measurement mades are local and not very precise and the second one is very expensive and difficult to handle.

This work presents a new non-intrusive capacitive sensor that measures the global moisture content in the section of the wall timber framing and therefore it accuracy is similar to those obtained by electromagnetic transmittance meters, but due to it is a capacitive sensor, it has a low cost and an easy operation.

Keywords: Capacitive sensor; Moisture
Comments on this paper
Alberto Vallan
continous monitoring
I think that your proposed approach is simple enough to be embedded in wood beams in order to measure in real time and continuously the water content evolution, in order to monitor very ancient buildings located in historic towns like Venice, which are built at the sea-level. Is your system suitable for a long term monitoring?

Carlos Moron
Carlos Morón
Yes, it's like you proposed. The system is simple and can be used to measure continuously attaching an automatic acquisition system data