Civil and Geotechnical Engineering Using Tactile Pressure Mapping from Tekscan®

Boston, MA – Civil and Geotechnical engineers and researchers must consider the behavior of earth materials when developing designs and construction methods. A critical part of understanding this relationship and assessing risk is determining the force and pressure exerted when objects are moving or in contact.

The I-Scan® System from Tekscan is a complete pressure and force measurement system that allows the user to view, measure, record, and evaluate static and dynamic pressures between virtually any two mating surfaces. The thin sensor accurately captures pressure distribution data during soil studies without disrupting the environment or application. Using compression tests, I-Scan can be used to study the rheologic (flow) properties of construction materials (such as concrete and mortar mixtures), to evaluate different compositions and mixing methods. Similarly, the sensor can be buried to measure how different soil compounds compact under various stresses.

I-Scan sensors are the ideal solution for capturing pressure distribution data in soil studies as “their thin (0.1 mm) flexible film overcomes the effect of stiffness variation introduced by rigid load cells and thus allows for measurements that better represent the existing stress conditions.” (Samuel G. Paikowsky, Chris J. Palmer, and Lawrence E. Rolwes (2006). “The Use of Tactile Sensor Technology for Measuring Soil Stress Distribution.”)

Each I-Scan system includes software, tactile array (matrix-based) pressure sensors, and data acquisition electronics that perform analog to digital conversion. The system offers a USB connection to either a PC or laptop with scanning rates of 100 Hz. The software allows force and pressure data to be viewed in real-time or displayed as colorful 2D and 3D images. Data can also be analyzed in a multitude of graphing options, such as force vs. time, or can be exported into third party data analysis software. Sensors are 0.1mm thick, and are readily available in various pressure ranges and sizes.

To learn more about how I-Scan is used in Civil and Geotechnical engineering please visit

About Tekscan: Tekscan is a leading manufacturer of ultra-thin sensors and tactile pressure and force measurement systems. Sensors and systems are used in various applications in the industrial, medical and dental fields. Products range from simple force sensors to complete measurement systems with over 100,000 sensing points.

Tekscan, Inc.

307 West First St.

Boston, MA 02127 USA

Tel (617) 464-4500

(800) 248-3669

Fax (617) 464-4266

Contact: Stephen Weber – Marketing Specialist

Tekscan, Inc.

(617) 464-4500 x225

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