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Navy seeks tool to detect devastating mineral in concrete

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HARTFORD  — The U.S. Navy is working to develop a new high-tech gadget that can quickly identify whether a debilitating iron sulfide mineral exists in concrete, the same problem that’s plaguing thousands of Connecticut homeowners with crumbling foundations.

The Navy began last year seeking small businesses that could invent a device to quickly detect the substance pyrrhotite in concrete. Three firms were recently selected.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, a Democrat whose districts includes many of the affected towns, says the Navy’s efforts have been independent of the state’s and the congressional delegation’s efforts to help the homeowners. He says the Navy is a large consumer of concrete and wanted to make sure its structures are sound.

He says the device could be helpful in getting a better handle on Connecticut’s problem.

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