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Low cost bridge load test: Calculating bridge displacement from acceleration for load assessment calculations

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-05-08, 11:24 authored by David Hester, James Brownjohn, Mateusz Bocian, Yan Xu
Bridge failure to pass load capacity assessment is unfortunately not an uncommon problem in bridge engineering and it is a potentially expensive problem for the bridge owner. Using load test data to justify increase in assessed load capacity is recognised as a viable approach in professional codes of practice. However, load tests are rarely carried out in practice because traditionally they are expensive to conduct and may not always justify an increase in assessed load capacity. Therefore this paper proposes a simple, quick and reliable approach for bridge load testing. In particular a procedure to calculate the bridge displacement to a moving truck by double integration of bridge acceleration is presented. Integrating acceleration to calculate displacement is not a new approach, with authors reporting difficulties due to errors in acceleration signals and unknown initial conditions. Many of the previous approaches have focused on developing signal processing algorithms to correct for the signal errors and while some good results have been reported, typically the derived displacements are very sensitive to parameters used in the correction algorithm, such as passband filter frequencies. Consequently, without comparison with directly measured displacement data, reliability of the procedure cannot be established and errors quantified. Therefore in this study a stripped down procedure is applied placing emphasis instead on minimising the errors in the recorded acceleration by using appropriate hardware and developing a quality control procedure that allows the user to assess the likely accuracy of the calculated displacement signal. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is trialled in the laboratory and in the field, with an accuracy of ±0.5 mm observed.

Funding

The research leading to these results has received funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 330195.

History

Citation

Engineering Structures, 2017, 143, pp. 358-374

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Engineering

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Engineering Structures

Publisher

Elsevier

issn

0141-0296

eissn

1873-7323

Acceptance date

2017-04-10

Copyright date

2017

Available date

2018-04-25

Publisher version

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0141029617312294

Notes

The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.

Language

en

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