PennDOT had engaged MATECH to use its Electrochemical Fatigue Sensor (EFS) for special inspections of the three bridges, each of which were part of interstate highways in diverse areas of the State.
At a meeting late last year with PennDOT to discuss the results of these inspections, the officials were so impressed with the work and the cost effectiveness of the results that they ordered an on-call contract with MATECH for the entire state. With only inspecting three bridges in the state, they believe MATECH has already saved them on the order of $50,000, and most likely avoided the closure of one of their main bridges (saving even more money and potentially the lives of their citizens). Because the EFS can find growing cracks and an indication of their rate of growth, PennDOT told MATECH they can sleep better at night knowing if a known crack is growing or not.
MATECH's Electrochemical Fatigue Sensor (EFS) technology can find growing cracks in the bridges, including cracks below the surface, as small as 0.01 inches. This critical information will allow the State's bridge engineers to fix the specific bridges in most need of repair. Using EFS, the engineers will also be able to verify that repairs are effective in halting further fatigue crack growth, by determining that previously repaired fatigue cracks are no longer growing. Being able to prioritize needed repairs, the State can realize significant cost savings. It can also repair the most critical bridges sooner, eliminating the need to restrict the weights of some trucks and most important, minimizing adverse economic impacts.
MATECH has recently received a great deal of interest from federal and state agencies, following the passage of the $286 billion Federal Transportation Bill, which included funds to help states evaluate nondestructive methods such as EFS to detect growing fatigue cracks in steel bridges.
MATECH CEO Robert M. Bernstein commented: "We are extremely pleased that ten years of diligent research has finally allowed us to take the company to the next level, and we are confident that this should be the first of many revenue streams to come. The State of Pennsylvania alone has 3500 steel bridges, of which 1/2 must be inspected every year. This could lead to a very substantial annual contract in Pennsylvania."
About Material Technologies, Inc. (MTTG.OB)
MATECH is an engineering, research and development company specializing in technologies to measure microscopic fractures and flaws in metal structures and monitor metal fatigue in real time. The company's leading edge metal fatigue detection, measurement and monitoring solutions can accurately test the integrity of metal structures and equipment including bridges, railroads, airplanes, ships, cranes, power plants, mining equipment, piping systems and heavy iron.
MATECH has the only nondestructive testing technology able to find growing cracks as minute as 0.01 inches -- critical information that allows structural engineers to isolate and repair the more than 100,000 steel bridges in the US which have been classified as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete by the Federal Highway Administration. MATECH has exclusive rights to seven patents and has received $8.3 million in already completed contracts from the US Government for research, testing and validation of its innovative solutions.