Overview of Structural Health Monitoring for Steel Bridges

Because of the unpredictable nature of mechanical and environmental loads, steel bridges do not necessarily behave as anticipated in design. Moreover, such loads cause the deterioration of the bridge with respect to time. In the United States, there are many highway bridges classified as structurally deficient because of aging and/or insufficient design. Also, considering the catastrophe of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge, it is critical to implement a system to monitor the health of bridges and report when and where maintenance operations are needed. Through successful health monitoring, the life of a deteriorating bridge can be extended, and catastrophic failure events can be prevented. Therefore, it is important to have a systematic approach to monitor the health of a bridge. Despite its promising benefits, structural health monitoring (SHM) is infrequently used in bridge applications. This paper will present the basic concepts of SHM and the conventional and new sensors applied for monitoring various structural parameters in steel bridges, which is beneficial to practitioners on bridge inspection and retrofitting.


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  • Accession Number: 01487608
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jul 11 2013 4:39PM