Bridge Management, Inspection and Sustainability

Full Session with Abstracts

340652-4 - Structural Identification for Performance Assessment of a Water Tank

Friday, April 20
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: 203A

Structural identification is a robust, six-step framework that is often used to quantitatively characterize in-service constructed systems. The characterization of the structure is achieved through reconciliation of experimental testing results with physics-based, analytical model predictions. The resulting characterization can serve many different objectives, but a common use is to evaluate performance problems. This presentation summarizes the application of the structural identification framework to an elevated water tank structure to evaluate its performance. The structure was retrofitted with cellular antennas and had experienced fatigue cracking, and the owner wished to identify the likely cause of the performance problem. The water tank was instrumented with accelerometers and a weather station and monitored at different wind speeds and for various controlled and uncontrolled operating conditions. The effective lateral stiffness of the structure was extracted using the measurement results and a simple physics-based analysis and used with other known structural characteristics to evaluate potential causes for the fatigue-inducing lateral displacements of the water tank. Wind pressure loading, vortex excitation, sloshing and second order effects (P-Delta) were all evaluated as potential causes. Structural identification revealed that second order effects were the most likely cause of the fatigue inducing lateral displacements.


The audience for this presentation will learn:

• How to apply the structural identification framework to elevated water tanks.
• How the results of structural identification can be used to evaluate and assess specific performance problems.
• Practical monitoring system design considerations, possible improvements to the monitoring approach that was employed, and other potential applications for the implemented approach.

Kirk A. Grimmelsman

Practice Leader - Evaluation of Performance and Risk
Intelligent Infrastructure Systems

Dr. Grimmelsman is Practice Leader - Evaluation of Performance and Risk with more than 19 years of experience in designing, implementing and evaluating research and field testing programs for condition assessment, performance evaluation and structural health monitoring of bridges.

Prior to joining Intelligent Infrastructure Systems, Dr. Grimmelsman was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Arkansas for 7 years where he taught courses and conducted research in structural engineering. Dr. Grimmelsman’s technical expertise includes the planning, design and implementation of structural health monitoring systems for long-span bridges, utilization and analysis of nondestructive evaluation methods for condition assessment of structural elements, vibration testing methods for global and local dynamic characterization of bridges and other constructed systems, fatigue evaluation methods, and diagnostic and proof load testing for bridge rating.

Dr. Grimmelsman earned his BS and MS from the University of Cincinnati in Civil and Structural Engineering, respectively and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics from Drexel University. He is a Professional Engineer registered in Arkansas and serves as Secretary on several industry committees including the ASCE-SEI Committee on Methods of Monitoring Structural Performance and the SEM Technical Division on Dynamics of Civil Structures. He is also a member of the ASCE-SEI Committee on Structural Identification of Constructed Systems and is a reviewer for several journals including Engineering Structures, Journal of Bridge Engineering, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Smart Structures and Systems, Structure and Infrastructure Engineering and Structural Health Monitoring.

Dr. Grimmelsman was recently appointed as an Adjunct Professor in the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department at Drexel University where he is teaching CIVE 801 Dynamics of Structures I.

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