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Iowa State University--Becoming the Best

Development of a Structural Health Monitoring System to Evaluate Structural Capacity and Estimate Remaining Service Life for Bridges


Principal investigators:

Co-principal investigators:

Project status

In progress

Start date: 03/01/10
End date: 06/30/18



Partner(s): SHM Pooled Fund

About the research


The ultimate objective of this project is to integrate a damage detection algorithm capable of evaluating a bridge's structural capacity and estimating remaining service life into a structural health monitoring (SHM) system. In the past decade, Los Alamos National Laboratories has evaluated six non-destructive damage detection algorithms in terms of their ability to detect and locate damage on bridges. While significant at the time, the state of the art has evolved such that damage cannot only be detected and located, it can also be quantified.
Although numerous damage detection algorithms exist to detect a change in the structure, that information by itself is of little value to a state bridge engineer. What is needed is an SHM system capable of evaluating the structural capacity and remaining service life of a bridge. Some specific examples of conditions that may impact structural capacity and remaining service life, and for which a system can be used, include the following: damage from illegal overweight vehicles, collision damage (with or without strengthening and repair), general deterioration of various structural elements, scour damage from flood events, and damage from extreme events (e.g., seismic, wind).