SISCON - Safety of Infrastructures and Constructions

SISCON is the Multidisciplinary Center of the Politecnico di Torino, founded in 2018 with the aim of providing an univocal and interdisciplinary solution to the problem of infrastructure and building safety.

The Center includes over 40 professors coming from 4 different Departments (DISEG, DISAT, DIATI, DIGEP) of the Politecnico di Torino.

The activities concern the innovation in civil infrastructure design, monitoring and active control, the analysis of existing civil structures also aiming at creating a new culture of design, management and maintenance, as well as the assessment of the infrastructure status and the related inspecting and control programs.

The main prerogatives of SISCON include multidisciplinary skills, international contacts and synergy with the main Italian operators of infrastructures and constructions, as well as the ability to conduct experimental tests at the micro, macro, and meso scales. In all activities, focus on technological innovation is pursued.

SISCON provides cutting-edge structural monitoring equipment (acoustic and ultrasonic emissions, X-ray diffractometer, THz-TDS laser spectrometer, Digital Image Correlation, accelerometers for dynamic identification, deformation sensors, and inclinometers), an innovative chemical / physical laboratory for the chemical characterization of concrete, steel and metals, and several tools for the rheological control of concrete (3D printing and extrusion). The Center also has exclusive equipment in Italy for testing real-size structural elements with lengths of up to 30 meters, which can be performed using a modular and transportable steel reaction frame (equipped with a load application systems with 4 actuators of 1200 kN each).

The Center offers its facilities to Construction Companies, to the public Institutions (also deputed to surveillance), as well as to the major public and private Concessionaires of the national road and railway networks, (MIMS Ministry, MIUR, ASPI, ANAS, SITAF, RFI, TELT, Municipality of Turin and others). The Center has established research collaborations with many important leading companies in the construction sector (Buzzi-Unical, Mapei, Italcementi, etc.).

Bridges and viaducts, tunnels and underground works, hydraulic networks, dams, high-rise and non-convengional buildings, road paving and barriers are among the operational scenarios where the Centre's monitoring and research activities are currently going on. Particular importance is placed on sustainability and innovation by encouraging the use of recycled structural materials with controlled durability and structural strength.

The SISCON Center develops artificial intelligence (AI) techniques for the assessment, localization, and prediction of structural damage (DDEP, Damage Detection, Evaluation, Prediction) with the goal of identifying possible weak signals of damage and stress, in order to determine the structure's health status (intelligent damage detection).

Other activities include mapping deterioration and crack patterns, as well as identify structural degradation, such as the effects of corrosion on ordinary and prestressed reinforcements. The Center also deals with the structural monitoring of dams, with the study of damage upon structures hit by snow avalanches and debris flows, and with the analysis of potential failure mechanisms in energy structures (e.g. hydroelectric channels, windmills etc).

Finally, the Center provides a wide range of training opportunities related to current construction regulations.