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Assessment of bridge condition and safety based on measured vibration level
ESR10 2017-11-20T00:11:04+00:00
ESR10: Assessment of bridge condition and safety based on measured vibration level

Bridge condition is commonly related to the dynamic parameters of the bridge (natural frequencies, mode shapes and damping). However, environmental conditions and concrete age have been identified as main drawbacks of using dynamic parameters for bridge inspection and health monitoring. In addition, as the changes in natural frequency and modal amplitude are related to changes in the stiffness and mass, the changes of these parameters can give only information on the condition of the structures, but not on the actual safety. Some authors have correlated the degree of damage in actual buildings with the vibration intensities deduced from accelerations measured close to the damaged regions.

TRUSS will extend this research by relating the level of vibration due to normal traffic action to the condition index and safety of the tested bridges. For the group of bridges selected, a visual inspection will be carried out to obtain a condition index based on standard methods. Also, based on the available information of the bridges (dimensions, materials, etc) the safety to Ultimate Limit States (bending and fatigue) will be computed and measured in terms of the reliability index. Afterwards, a dynamic test will be performed aiming to obtain the vibration intensity for different vehicles at different speeds and also for the normal traffic in the bridge. Several definitions of vibration level (vibrars, peak-to-peak acceleration, etc) will be checked and compared to the condition and reliability indices and the correlation between them will be obtained.

Finally, a set of plots relating the measured vibration level with the condition and reliability index will be proposed for several types of bridges (simply supported, continuous).

In addition, the use of existing data-bases with available dynamic records for tested bridges will be investigated in order to obtain a large group of bridges for the study.

Based on promising results obtained in buildings, this project seeks the feasibility of using, not dynamic parameters (natural frequencies, damping, modal amplitudes), but actual vibration level to assess both the condition state and safety of existing bridges and other structures. This works aims to find such relations for different bridge types, mainly in the range of short to medium span-length. As a first step, a group of bridges will be identified as the most representative of the overall population of bridges in a highway or railway network.
Tools to assess bridge safety based on the correlation between the level of vibration due to normal traffic action and the condition index and safety of the investigated bridges.
This project involves a secondment of some months to COMSA (supervised by Mr. Peset). Proficient engineers with in-depth knowledge of bridge design, construction and management will provide the basic knowledge of normal inspection and maintenance of bridges. Also, thanks to the background of some of the partners in the Action, training on equipment, signal conditioning, signal analysis and interpretation will be provided. Therefore, the ESR will have access to the whole process of design, testing and operation of a monitoring system on a real structure, including data analysis for the project.

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