Joe Courtney

Navy seeks tool to detect devastating mineral in concrete

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.

Late last year, unbeknownst to many Connecticut officials, the Navy began seeking out small businesses to invent a device that can quickly detect pyrrhotite in concrete. The mineral is known to naturally react over years with water and oxygen, causing devastating damage to concrete basements and foundations.

"It would be a very positive development," said U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, acknowledging the technology could be years...