Sep 10

Thick film sensors for soil measurements

Gerardo Espindola Garcia, Prof John Atkinson and Dr Joel Smethurst


Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Sensor Device Technologies and Applications SENSORDEVICES 2017

ISBN 978-1-61208-581-4

First published 10.09.2017


Water content has considerable influence on soil
pore water pressure and shear strength, potentially leading to
failure in earthworks. This research aims to develop novel
sensors (employing Thick-Film electrodes) intended to detect
changes in soil parameters such as conductivity, porosity and
water content and determine if these are indicative of
earthworks instability (potential slope failure). Using Thick
Film electrodes to measure parameters could be a cost effective
method for condition monitoring. The conductivity output of
the sensors and how it relates to the soil water content needs to
be understood, and a framework of working conditions for this
sensing technology needs to be documented. In this study, the
behaviour of the TF cell developed by the University of
Southampton was tested for a particular soil particle size by
simulating heavy rainfall and rising of the water table within a
soil column.