Detection of Decay in Wooden Utility Poles in Service by Microtoughness Testing

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2001-33610-10414
Agency Tracking Number: 2001-00315
Amount: $69,443.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1598 Kiwi Avenue, Boone, IA, 50036
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Glenn Oren
 (515) 275-4650
Business Contact
 Glenn Oren
Title: Principal
Phone: (515) 275-4650
Research Institution
Our rural electric utility pole distribution system has served rural America for over 60 years. Many of the original poles from the late 1930's are still in service. The maintenance of this multi-billion dollar investment is necessary to provide reliable and inexpensive power to rural areas. Detection of decayed poles help ensure the reliability of this service as well as help ensure the safety of linemen and the public. Currently used field methods for decay detection have proven useful for detecting only advanced stages of decay. Even then, poles with advanced decay are missed by trained inspectors more often than realized. Further consider, if trained pole inspectors make all too frequent errors, what is to be the anticipated error rates for utility line workers with less experience in pole inspection- people who work on these poles often during bad weather at all hours. The proposed effort is directed at determining the feasibility of detecting decay earlier in the field via micro-toughness testing. Toughness (the ability to withstand shock loading) is the strength property most severely and rapidly diminished by decay.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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