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Proceedings Paper

Ultrasonic diagnostic load testing of steel highway bridges
Author(s): Efrain A. Mandracchia
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents a new product, the SonicForce Acoustic Strain Gauge (ASG), that utilizes a non-contact ultrasonic technology to measure applied strain requiring no paint removal and minimal surface preparation. After an overview of the ultrasonic technology is presented the results of a diagnostic test utilizing a prototype of the ASG will be discussed. The purpose of this test was to validate the ASG as being functionally equivalent to the resistance strain gauge, and to demonstrate a cost effective enabling technology to the civil and structural engineering communities. The diagnostic tests program was supervised by Dr. Abba Lichtenstein in accordance with accepted guidelines contained in the manual for 'Rating Bridges Through Testing'. FOr the purpose of this study the bridge superstructure was modeled and structural loading profiles were determined using both resistive and acoustic strain measurement techniques. Measured strains as determined by the ASG were compared to theoretical loads in order to determine if the rodeo gulch superstructure was operating in a safe and reliable manner. Additionally, under the direction of Phil Fish, two pre-production ASGs were used to monitor accumulated cyclic loading. These test data presented as a time series strip chart and rainflow histogram.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 November 1996
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2946, Nondestructive Evaluation of Bridges and Highways, (13 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.259142
Show Author Affiliations
Efrain A. Mandracchia, SonicForce Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2946:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Bridges and Highways
Steven B. Chase, Editor(s)

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