Health Study of Reinforced Concrete Test Bridge with Pier Damage

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Title: Health Study of Reinforced Concrete Test Bridge with Pier Damage

Author(s): Steven B. Worley and Elizabeth K. Ervin

Publication: Structural Journal

Volume: 114

Issue: 04

Appears on pages(s): 959-967

Keywords: inspection; modal analysis; modal decomposition; nondestructive testing; structural health evaluation; structural health monitoring

Date: 7/1/2017

Abstract:
An inspection scheme is presented for detecting global damage in reinforced concrete structures. In-house software is used to generate quantitative damage assessment metrics. Temporal sensor data captured during a bridge inspection can be post-processed to analyze stability and produce strength representations. Structural weak points can be visually located, and the developed tool can decrease inspection time and increase its accuracy. This risk monitoring provides objective guidance on a structure’s current health as compared to any previous condition, currently limiting applications to periodic inspection. As verification, a laboratory-built reinforced concrete bridge is analyzed by comparing an as-built baseline to four damage cases with artificial pier softening. Signal processing, modal decomposition, and health quantification produced visual plots for 12 metrics indicating both damage severity and location. The developed methodology is employed to demonstrate that flexibility absolute difference, damage location vector, and modal flexibility index most accurately located pier connection damage.