Much research is currently centred on the detection of damage in structures using vibrational data. The work presented here examined several areas of interest in support of a practical technique for identifying and locating damage within bridge structures using apparent changes in their vibrational response to known excitation. The proposed goals of such a technique included the need for the measurement system to be operated on site by a minimum number of staff and that the procedure should be as non-invasive to the bridge traffic-flow as possible.
Initially the research investigated changes in the vibrational bending characteristics of two series of large-scale model bridge-beams in the laboratory and these included ordinary-reinforced and post-tensioned, prestressed designs. Each beam was progressively damaged at predetermined positions and its vibrational response to impact excitation was analysed. For the load-regime utilised the results suggested that the infuced damage manifested itself as a function of the span of a beam rather than a localised area. A power-law relating apparent damage with the applied loading and prestress levels was then proposed, together with a qualitative vibrational measure of structural damage.
In parallel with the laboratory experiments a series of tests were undertaken at the sites of a number of highway bridges. The bridges selected had differing types of construction and geometric design including composite-concrete, concrete slab-and-beam, concrete-slab with supporting steel-troughing constructions together with regular-rectangular, skewed and heavily-skewed geometries. Initial investigations were made of the feasibility and reliability of various methods of structure excitation including traffic and impulse methods. It was found that localised impact using a sledge-hammer was ideal for the purposes of this work and that a cartridge `bolt-gun' could be used in some specific cases.
|Date of Award||1992|
|Supervisor||John E.T. Penny (Supervisor), Malcolm Bailey (Supervisor), Mike Friswell (Supervisor) & John A. Purkiss (Supervisor)|
- Damage analysis
- bridge structures
- vibrational techniques