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Proceedings Paper

Long-term gage reliability for structural health monitoring of steel bridges
Author(s): Vasilis A. Samaras; Jeremiah Fasl; Matt Reichenbach; Todd Helwig; Sharon Wood; Karl Frank
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Paper Abstract

Real-time monitoring of fracture critical steel bridges can potentially enhance inspection practices by tracking the behavior of the bridge. Significant advances have occurred in recent years on the development of robust hardware for field monitoring applications. These systems can monitor, process, and store data from a variety of sensors (e.g. strain gages, crack propagation gages etc.) to track changes in the behavior of the bridge. Thus, for a long-term monitoring system to be successful, the reliability of gages that are to be monitored for several years is very important. This paper focuses on the results of a research study focused on developing a wireless monitoring system with a useful life of more than 10 years. An important aspect of the study is to identify strain gages and installation procedures that result in long lives as well as characterizing the effect of temperature fluctuations and other environmental factors on the sensor drift and noise. In long-term monitoring applications, slight sensor drift and noise can build up over time to produce misleading results. Thus, a wide variety of gages that can be used to monitor bridges have been tested for over a year through environmental tests. The environmental tests were developed to determine the durability of the gages and their protective coatings (e.g. zinc-based spray, wax and silicon, etc.) against humidity, sun exposure and other environmental effects that are expected in long-term bridge monitoring applications. Moreover, fatigue tests were performed to determine the fatigue category of the weldable gages and to reveal any debonding issues of the bondable gages. This paper focuses on the results of laboratory tests on gage durability that were conducted as part of a research project sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 April 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8347, Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security 2012, 83471Q (5 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.914841
Show Author Affiliations
Vasilis A. Samaras, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Jeremiah Fasl, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Matt Reichenbach, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Todd Helwig, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Sharon Wood, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Karl Frank, Hirschfeld Industries (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8347:
Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security 2012
Andrew L. Gyekenyesi, Editor(s)

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