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Antonella D'Alessandro     Institute, Department or Faculty Head 
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Antonella D'Alessandro published an article in November 2018.
Research Keywords & Expertise
0 A
0 Smart Materials
0 phase change materials
0 thermal properties
Top co-authors
Simon Laflamme

118 shared publications

Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering and Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Iowa State Univ., Town Engineering #416A, Ames, IA 50011

Filippo Ubertini

108 shared publications

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Perugia, Via G. Duranti, 93-06125 Perugia, Italy

Austin Downey

28 shared publications

Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Enrique García-Macías

27 shared publications

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; University of Perugia; Perugia Italy

Publication Record
Distribution of Articles published per year 
(2013 - 2018)
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Publications See all
CONFERENCE-ARTICLE 31 Reads 0 Citations <strong>Full-scale testing of a masonry building monitored with smart brick sensors</strong> Antonella D'Alessandro, Andrea Meoni, Enrique García-Macías,... Published: 14 November 2018
Proceedings of 5th International Electronic Conference on Sensors and Applications, doi: 10.3390/ecsa-5-05764
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The seismic monitoring of masonry structures is especially challenging due to their brittle resistance behavior. A tailored sensing system could, in principle, help to detect and locate cracks and anticipate the risks of local and global collapses, allowing prompt interventions and ensuring users’ safety. Unfortunately, off-the-shelf sensors do not meet the criteria that are needed for this purpose, due to their durability issues, costs and extensive maintenance requirements. As a possible solution for earthquake-induced damage detection and localization in masonry structures, the authors have recently introduced the novel sensing technology of “smart bricks”, that are clay bricks with self-sensing capabilities, whose electromechanical properties have been already characterized in previous work. The bricks are fabricated by doping traditional clay with conductive stainless steel microfibers, enhancing the electrical sensitivity of the material to strain. If placed at key locations within the structure, this technology permits to detect and locate permanent changes in deformation under dead loading conditions, associated to a change in structural conditions following an earthquake. In this way, a quick post-earthquake assessment of the monitored structure can be achieved, at lower costs and with lower maintenance requirements in comparison to traditional sensors.

In this paper, the authors further investigate the electro-mechanical behavior of smart bricks, with a specific attention to the fabrication of the electrodes, and exemplify their application for damage detection and localization in a full-scale shaking table test on a masonry building specimen. Experimental results show that smart bricks’ outputs can effectively allow the detection of local permanent changes in deformation following a progressive damage, as also confirmed by a 3D finite element simulation carried out for validation purposes.

Related video presentation available here.

Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Stainless Steel Microfibers for Strain-Sensing Smart Clay Bricks Antonella D’Alessandro, Andrea Meoni, Filippo Ubertini Published: 05 August 2018
Journal of Sensors, doi: 10.1155/2018/7431823
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Life cycle monitoring of structural health of civil constructions is crucial to guarantee users’ safety. An optimal structural health monitoring system allows to automatically detect, locate, and quantify any damage in structural elements, thus anticipating major risks of local or global failures. Critical issues affecting traditional monitoring systems are sensors’ placement, hardware durability, and long-term reliability of the measurements. Indeed, sensors’ deployment is crucial for an effective investigation of the static and dynamic characteristics of the structural system, whereby durability and long-term stability of sensing systems are necessary for long-term monitoring. A very attractive solution to some of these challenges is developing sensors made of the same, or similar, material of the structure being monitored, allowing a spatially distributed and long-term reliable monitoring system, by the use of self-sensing construction materials. Within this context, the authors have recently proposed new “smart clay bricks” that are strain-sensing clay bricks aimed at embedding intelligent monitoring capabilities within structural masonry buildings. While previous work focused on smart bricks doped with titanium dioxide and using embedded point electrodes, this work proposes an enhanced version of smart bricks based on the addition of conductive micro stainless steel fibers that possess higher electrical conductivity and a more suitable fiber-like aspect ratio for the intended application, as well as plate copper electrodes deployed on top and bottom surfaces of the bricks. The paper thus presents preparation and experimental characterization of the new smart bricks. The influence of different amounts of fibers is investigated, allowing the identification of their optimal content to maximize the gauge factor of the bricks. Both electrical and electromechanical experimental tests were performed. Overall, the presented results demonstrate that the new smart bricks proposed in this paper possess enhanced strain-sensing capabilities and could be effectively utilized as sensors within structural masonry buildings.
Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Effect of PCM on the Hydration Process of Cement-Based Mixtures: A Novel Thermo-Mechanical Investigation Claudia Fabiani, Antonella D’Alessandro, Filippo Ubertini, F... Published: 23 May 2018
Materials, doi: 10.3390/ma11060871
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The use of Phase Change Material (PCM) for improving building indoor thermal comfort and energy saving has been largely investigated in the literature in recent years, thus confirming PCM’s capability to reduce indoor thermal fluctuation in both summer and winter conditions, according to their melting temperature and operation boundaries. Further to that, the present paper aims at investigating an innovative use of PCM for absorbing heat released by cement during its curing process, which typically contributes to micro-cracking of massive concrete elements, therefore compromising their mechanical performance during their service life. The experiments carried out in this work showed how PCM, even in small quantities (i.e., up to 1% in weight of cement) plays a non-negligible benefit in reducing differential thermal increases between core and surface and therefore mechanical stresses originating from differential thermal expansion, as demonstrated by thermal monitoring of cement-based cubes. Both PCM types analyzed in the study (with melting temperatures at 18 and 25 ∘C) were properly dispersed in the mix and were shown to be able to reduce the internal temperature of the cement paste by several degrees, i.e., around 5 ∘C. Additionally, such small amount of PCM produced a reduction of the final density of the composite and an increase of the characteristic compressive strength with respect to the plain recipe.
BOOK-CHAPTER 5 Reads 0 Citations Innovative Structural Concretes with Phase Change Materials for Sustainable Constructions: Mechanical and Thermal Charac... A. D’Alessandro, A. L. Pisello, C. Fabiani, F. Ubertini, L. ... Published: 17 April 2018
Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference in Ocean Engineering (ICOE2018), doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-78936-1_13
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PROCEEDINGS-ARTICLE 0 Reads 0 Citations Crack detection in RC structural components using a collaborative data fusion approach based on smart concrete and large... Austin R. J. Downey, Antonella D'alessandro, Filippo Ubertin... Published: 27 March 2018
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2017, doi: 10.1117/12.2296695
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PROCEEDINGS-ARTICLE 2 Reads 0 Citations Strain monitoring in masonry structures using smart bricks Antonella D'alessandro, Filippo Ubertini, Austin Downey, Sim... Published: 27 March 2018
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2017, doi: 10.1117/12.2297526
DOI See at publisher website