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Interesting Gadgets from WOC 2015-Somero Matson Deflection Meter

World of Concrete 2015 (WOC 2015) took place the first week of February in Las Vegas. As always there was a lot to do and see. Everyone was there from 1-800 Bollards/Post Guard to Zurn Industries, over 1,560 different products and exhibitors. 

There was an interesting gadget from Somero Matson. They presented a portable slab joint deflection meter that anyone can use to measure slab movement and deflection across the joints. Since the joints are the first to break down and spall, being able to measure the movement between slabs under load is invaluable in determining how well your floor is performing after installation and to get a handle on joints that may need repair soon. 

Knowing the deflection can also help determine the necessary repair to stabilize the joints. This could save owners maintenance and repair bills.

All joints move to some extent when a forklift passes over it. Excessive movement can result in spalling, and slab deterioration. Which, in turn, causes wheel damage to the forklifts. It isn’t easy on the driver’s back either. This could be a handy tool to keep up with maintenance needs for your concrete floor.  

According to the instruction manual, the Somero Matson Deflection Meter, which uses inclinometer technology, is accurate to within +/- 0.0011 inch when used without its detachable 12-inch legs. Even with legs it can distinguish movement down to +/- 0.002 inch.

While the deflection meter can be used for any purpose requiring precise measurements, it has been designed primarily for use in measuring moving joints in concrete slabs.

The SM-Deflection Meter can be used manually or automatically. In both modes it takes an initial measurement of the joint without load and then a second measurement is taken with load. 

In manual mode, a single measurement is taken for each load instance. Manual allows the user to control when and what movement they would like to measure. The difference in measurements is the deflection, shown on an LED screen in inches. When the automated mode is used, a first measurement without load is taken and then the meter takes measurements several times a second until stopped. The largest deflection measurement will be shown.

The automated mode is great for a single user, you don’t have to start and stop the device while operating a lift. The meter also comes with a handle (which makes it look a little like a small floor cleaner) and can be operated using buttons on the handle instead of the unit itself. No need to bend down.

According to the manual it doesn’t require calibration and is water resistant. It runs on 9V batteries. And Somero Matson expects to release an upgrade in the future with more memory and even more accuracy.

Does this sound like a tool that you would use? Please let us know in the comments.