Bridge Management, Inspection and Sustainability

Single Abstract

343307 - Automated Damage Detection in Floor System Bracing

Saturday, April 21
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: 102

As freight rail loads and train lengths increase, riveted steel railway bridges are subjected to increased load magnitudes and frequencies. As a result, more deficiencies are reported during and between scheduled inspections. Most of the reported defects occur in flooring system components and connections, which include stringer to floor-beam connections and floor systems bracing members. Connections issues have been shown to be caused by lateral vibrations induced from train passage that results in out-of-plane bending of the connecting plate.
Detecting connection deficiencies prior to or upon their initiation would be of a significant importance to maintain structural integrity. In similar fashion to vehicular bridges, the current practice used to evaluate the integrity of steel railway bridges is visual inspection at a prescribed frequency, which can vary from six months to one year. In this study, a framework is proposed for autonomous detection of aforementioned damage via analyzing a continuous stream of strain time histories of the bridge in its operational condition. The procedure is based on detecting shifts in resonance frequencies of a single lateral bracing member in a panel composed of several members. To this end, automated frequency domain decomposition is employed to automatically pick measured strain time-history frequency spectra peaks and a statistical analysis is performed to define damage thresholds. The proposed method is validated via full-field measurements under operational conditions. The field test results confirm that a sparse sensor setup could be effectively used for detecting this type of damage.

Saeed Eftekhar Azam

Postdoctoral Research Associate
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Ph.D. Politecnico di Milano


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Ahmed Rageh

PHD Student
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

PHD Student, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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Daniel Linzell

Voelte-Keegan Professor and Chair
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Daniel G. Linzell, P.E., F.ASCE, is the Voelte-Keegan Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. From 1999 until June of 2013, he was a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, most recently serving as the John A. and Harriette K. Shaw Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Protective Technology Center. He received his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999, his M.S. in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1995 and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Ohio State University in 1990. He served as a visiting professor at the University of Navarra in San Sebastian, Spain, during the 2008-09 academic year. Dr. Linzell has published nearly 60 peer-reviewed, journal articles that have focused on: monitoring and predicting the behavior of bridges during construction and under service loads; protective barrier systems; building and bridge systems and components under blast and impact; and ship structural component performance. Prior to receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Linzell was employed by Burgess and Niple, Ltd. in Columbus Ohio where he performed condition and forensic structural inspections and rehabilitation designs. He currently sits on the Structural Stability Council’s Executive Committee, is a Member of the Transportation Research Board’s Steel Bridge Committee and of the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Composite Construction and Bridge and Tunnel Security Committees. He is a licensed Professional Engineer.


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343307 - Automated Damage Detection in Floor System Bracing

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