University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > Damage detection in bridges by means of structural monitoring: problems and possibilities

Damage detection in bridges by means of structural monitoring: problems and possibilities

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Maria Marques de Carvalho.

The early detection of critical states in bridge structures is a problem of paramount importance for the safety of the road users. Furthermore, the capability of grading the health state of infrastructures can drive a more effective maintenance planning with cost savings. Starting from the early aerospace and mechanical applications, a huge literature dealing with bridge structures has been set out, including some full-scale testing of decommissioned bridges such as the one of Z24 bridge in Switzerland. However, the signal modifications due to damages are very small, the detection errors can be large, and dynamic nonlinearities play a very important role when cracking in prestressed or reinforced concrete structures is the focus. Finally, the fatigue of corroded elements is far to be fully understood. Inside the SHAPE project of the ERA -NET Infravation 2014 call, the research group decided to build two specimen bridges in scale 1:4 (6×3 m2) in order to assess experimentally the dynamic changes due to imposed subsequent loading levels producing damage in the structures. Although realistic models have a consistent cost and require huge testing facilities, the use of scaled-down experimental bridges could be helpful in comparing different detection tools and techniques. In the presentation the dramatic condition of the Italian bridges is firstly shortly reviewed, presenting even some snapshots of the recent Polcevera bridge collapse. Then, some techniques able to detect damage states in structural elements are listed and discussed. With reference to reinforced concrete structures, the problem of dynamic identification of cracked beams is examined in detail. Finally, the results of the experimental investigation on the specimen bridges are presented with the aim to point out the connection between the dynamic properties of the models and the damage states examined.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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