Health Monitoring of Rehabilitated Concrete Bridges Using Distributed Optical Fiber Sensing

Wei Zhang, Junqi Gao, Bin Shi & Heliang Cui
Center for Engineering Monitoring with Opto-Electric Sensing, Nanjing University
Hong Zhu
College of Civil Engineering, Southeast University
Source: Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering 21 (2006) 411–424

Abstract: It is evident that a health monitoring systemm (HMS) holds a great deal of potential to reduce the inspection and maintenance cost of existing highway bridges by identifying the structural deficiencies at an early stage, as well as verifying the efficacy of repair procedures. As newly developed techniques, distributed optical fiber sensing (DOFS) have gradually played a prominent role in structural health monitoring for the last decade. This article focuses on the employment of two types of DOFS, namely fiber Bragg grating (FBG) and Brillouin optical time domain reflectometry (BOTDR), into an integrated HMS for rehabilitated RC girder bridges by means of a series of static and dynamic loading tests to a simply supported RC T-beam strengthened by externally post-tensioned aramid fiber reinforced polymer (AFRP) tendons. Before the loading tests, a calibration test for FBG and another one for BOTDR were implemented to, respectively, obtain good linearity for both of them. Monitoring data were collected in real time during the process of external strengthening, static loading, and dynamic loading, respectively, all of which well identified the relevant structural state. The beam was finally vibrated for 2 million cycles and then loaded monotonously to failure. Based on the bending strength of externally prestressed members, ultimate values for the test specimen were numerically computed via a newly developed simplified model, which satisfactorily predicted the ultimate structural state of the beam. And then the alert values were adopted to compare with the monitoring results for safety alarm. The investigation results show a great deal of applicability for the integrated SHM by using both DOFS in rehabilitated concrete bridges strengthened by external prestressing.

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