Robust Wireless Skin Sensor Networks for Long-term Fatigue Crack Monitoring of Bridges

Fatigue-induced cracks are of great concern to the Departments of Transportation. An important number of bridges in the country are fracture critical bridges that are vulnerable to fatigue cracks due to the brittle nature of their failure modes. Localizing and monitoring fatigue cracks is critical for determining retrofitting and maintenance plans. However, the localization process is difficult. This process is typically conducted via visual inspections, and sometime leveraging nondestructive evaluation techniques. Both methods require an inspector to be involved, are time consuming, and do not guarantee that a fatigue crack would be discovered on-time. A solution is to deploy sensors, but the commercially available solutions do not allow for the discovery of new fatigue cracks, because these sensors are relatively very small in comparison to the geometries (i.e., girders) to be monitored. The recent pooled fund effort TPF-5(328) conducted research on leveraging a large skin-type sensor that could easily be deployed over large areas in order to localize and monitor fatigue cracks. The research project was successful in demonstrating the capability of the technology both in a laboratory environment and in the field. The objective of this proposed project is to enable large-scale deployments in the United States by addressing further essential development needs uncovered during the previous research to achieve more robust, accurate, and flexible crack monitoring using the wireless skin sensor network.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $600000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Iowa Department of Transportation

    800 Lincoln Way
    Ames, IA  United States  50010

    Kansas Department of Transportation

    Eisenhower State Office Building
    700 SW Harrison Street
    Topeka, KS  United States  66603-3754

    South Carolina Department of Transportation

    955 Park Street
    P.O. Box 191
    Columbia, SC  United States  29202-0191

    North Carolina Department of Transportation

    P.O. Box 25201
    1 South Wilmington Street
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27611
  • Managing Organizations:

    Iowa Department of Transportation

    800 Lincoln Way
    Ames, IA  United States  50010
  • Project Managers:

    Clute, Khyle

  • Performing Organizations:

    Iowa State University, Ames

    Center for Transportation Research and Education
    2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
    Ames, IA  United States  50010-8664
  • Principal Investigators:

    Laflamme, Simon

  • Start Date: 20200515
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20240531

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01732491
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Contract Numbers: TPF-5(449)
  • Created Date: Feb 28 2020 5:10PM