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19 April 2017 Damage identification in highway bridges using distribution factors
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The U.S. infrastructure system is well behind the needs of the 21st century and in dire need of improvements. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) graded America’s Infrastructure as a “D+” in its recent 2013 Report Card. Bridges are a major component of the infrastructure system and were awarded a “C+”. Nearly 25 percent of the nation’s bridges are categorized as deficient by the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA). Most bridges were designed with an expected service life of roughly 50 years and today the average age of a bridge is 42 years. Finding alternative methods of condition assessment which captures the true performance of the bridge is of high importance. This paper discusses the monitoring of two multi-girder/stringer bridges at different ages of service life. Normal strain measurements were used to calculate the load distribution factor at the midspan of the bridge under controlled loading conditions. Controlled progressive damage was implemented to one of the superstructures to determine if the damage could be detected using the distribution factor. An uncertainty analysis, based on the accuracy and precision of the normal strain measurement, was undertaken to determine how effective it is to use the distribution factor measurement as a damage indicator. The analysis indicates that this load testing parameter may be an effective measure for detecting damage.
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Michael V. Gangone and Matthew J. Whelan "Damage identification in highway bridges using distribution factors", Proc. SPIE 10169, Nondestructive Characterization and Monitoring of Advanced Materials, Aerospace, and Civil Infrastructure 2017, 101692I (19 April 2017);

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