University of Cambridge > > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > Structural Health Monitoring of Bridges

Structural Health Monitoring of Bridges

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lorna Everett.

In order to ensure that civil infrastructure remains safe for use it is necessary to have effective monitoring and maintenance schemes. This is becoming increasingly important due to both ageing infrastructure and, in the case of bridges, increasing traffic loads. The principal method currently employed is visual inspection, however there are a number of shortcomings. Firstly, many defects cannot be detected in this manner, either because they occur in difficult to access locations of the structure, or they occur internally. Secondly, the data collected is often highly subjective and difficult to quantify in a repeatable manner, meaning results can vary significantly between different inspectors.

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) systems are being developed to provide quantitative data to infrastructure owners and aid their maintenance decisions. The primary focus of existing research has been on the development of these systems to collect and store data rather than how to interpret the data collected. However this is a vital step as without interpretation the data collected is meaningless and unable to aid the bridge manager’s decisions. This presentation will demonstrate the various challenges and difficulties involved and discuss case studies being considered to investigate them.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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