Structural Health Monitoring of Precast Concrete Box Girders Using Selected Vibration-Based Damage Detection MethodsReport as inadecuate

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Advances in Civil EngineeringVolume 2010 2010, Article ID 280685, 21 pages

Research Article

Bridge and Structural Design Unit, Road Service Division, King County Department of Transportation, KSC-TR-0242, 201 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98104-3856, USA

Department of Civil and Geological Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, 57 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5A9

Received 15 October 2009; Revised 30 January 2010; Accepted 23 March 2010

Academic Editor: Yi Qing Ni

Copyright © 2010 Zhengjie Zhou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Precast, prestressed concrete box girders are commonly used as superstructure components for short and medium span bridges. Their configuration and typical side-by-side placement make large portions of these elements inaccessible for visual inspection or the application of nondestructive testing techniques. This paper demonstrates that vibration-based damage detection VBDD is an effective alternative for monitoring their structural health. A box girder removed from a dismantled bridge was used to evaluate the ability of five different VBDD algorithms to detect and localize low levels of spalling damage, with a focus on using a small number of sensors and only the fundamental mode of vibration. All methods were capable of detecting and localizing damage to a region within approximately 1.6 times the longitudinal spacing between as few as six uniformly distributed accelerometers. Strain gauges configured to measure curvature were also effective, but tended to be susceptible to large errors in near support damage cases. Finite element analyses demonstrated that increasing the number of sensor locations leads to a proportional increase in localization accuracy, while the use of additional modes provides little advantage and can sometimes lead to a deterioration in the performance of the VBDD techniques.

Author: Zhengjie Zhou, Leon D. Wegner, and Bruce F. Sparling



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