The bottom flanges of steel plate girder bridges can be considered fracture-critical elements depending on the number of girders and bridge configuration. For such cases, it is required that inspection of these bridges be carried out using costly “arms-length” approach. New techniques in structural health monitoring (SHM) that use non-contact sensors and self-powered wireless sensors present alternative approach for inspection. Application of such techniques would allow timely detection and application of repair and strengthening, in other word, providing for more resilient bridges. This paper investigates the feasibility of using a handful of self-powered wireless or non-contact sensors for continuous or periodic monitoring and detection of fracture in steel plate girder bridges. To validate this concept, vibration measurements were performed on an actual bridge in the field, and detailed finite element analyses were carried out on a multi-girder bridge. The records obtained show that vibration amplitude was significantly increased for fractured girder, and a distinct pattern of strain variation was registered in the vicinity of fracture, all of which can be detected effectively with relevant sensors. Moreover, the amplitude and frequency of the vibration was shown to be significant enough for providing the required power for typical sensor(s).
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited