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Proceedings Paper

NDE applications in an anchor bolt and sign bridge inspection program
Author(s): Philip E. Fish
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Paper Abstract

Wisconsin Department of Transportation implemented an Anchor Bolt Inspection Program and Sign Bridge Inspection Program in 1990 for cantilever & overhead sign structures, high mast light towers, interstate light towers, and signal masts. All cantilever & overhead sign structures and high mast light towers have been inspected in-depth 'hands on' during this time period while implementation of inspection continues for interstate light towers and signal masts. The program requires an experienced inspection team and a practical inspection approach. Inspection preparation includes review of all background information such as design plans, design computations, construction plans, shop plans, and maintenance history. An inspection plan is developed. Special emphasis is placed on determining type of structure, type of material, welding details. For anchor bolts, type of material, cut or rolled threads, type of coating, and method of placement are important issues. Inspection emphasis are on 'hands on' and Nondestructive evaluation. Special emphasis is placed visual conditions of sign structures and anchor bolts (cut or rolled threads, straightness, corrosion, nut tension, etc.) along with ultrasonic inspection. This program places a strong emphasis on Non Destructive Testing (NDT), especially ultrasonic. Procedures and inspection calibrations for anchor bolts, are developed from similar anchor bolt geometry and material type. Cut notches are placed in the anchor bolts at locations of possible failure. NDT inspection calibrations are performed from these bolts. Report documentation includes all design plans, pictorial documentation of structural deficiencies, sketches, nondestructive evaluation reports, conclusions, and recommendations. This program has been successful in locating critical cracks and failed members on existing sign structures and new sign structures less than six months old. Also, failed anchor bolts and critical cracks have been located on high mast light towers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 March 1998
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3400, Structural Materials Technology III: An NDT Conference, (31 March 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.300085
Show Author Affiliations
Philip E. Fish, Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3400:
Structural Materials Technology III: An NDT Conference
Ronald D. Medlock; David C. Laffrey, Editor(s)

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