Damage Detection in Concrete Bridge T girders using 3D Finite Element Simulations Trained by Artificial Neural Network
AlaaEldin Abouelleil, Hayder A. Rasheed, and Eric Fletcheri
Appears on pages(s):
artificial neural network, finite element, damage detection, girders
The structural deterioration of aging infrastructure systems is becoming an increasingly important issue worldwide. To compound the problem, economic strains limit the resources available for the repair or replacement of such systems. Over the past several decades, structural health monitoring (SHM) has proven to be a cost-effective method for the detection and evaluation of damage in structures. Visual inspection and condition rating is one of the most commonly applied SHM techniques, but the effectiveness of SHM varies depending on the availability and experience of qualified personnel and largely qualitative damage evaluations. Simply supported three-dimensional reinforced concrete T-beams with varying geometric, material, and cracking properties were modeled using Abaqus finite element (FE) analysis software. Up to five cracks were considered in each beam, and the ratios of stiffness between cracked and healthy beams with the same geometric and material parameters were measured at nine equidistant nodes along the beam. A feedforward ANN utilizing backpropagation learning algorithms was then trained on the FE model database with beam properties and nodal stiffness ratios serving as inputs for the neural network model. The outputs consisted of the predicted parameters of location, depth, and width of up to five cracks. This inverse problem is very difficult or impossible to solve with the training done by the Artificial Neural Network. One ANN was trained to predict the parameters of the cracks using the full database of FE simulations. The damage prediction ANN achieved fair prediction accuracies, with coefficients of determination (R2) equal to 0.42. This result was the outcome of the no uniqueness in the prediction of this inverse analysis. Nevertheless, this ANN model provides a rough estimate of the cracking type and damage content in bridge girders once the nodal stiffness ratios are measured by applying a field vehicle loading and measuring the deflection using a theodolite. A touch-enabled user interface was developed to allow the ANN model to predict the crack configurations. The application was given the acronym DRY BEAM, for Damage Recognition Yielding Bridge Evaluation After Monitoring.