Structural Intelligence in bridge monitoring – Intelligent real-time monitoring, structural health monitoring (SHM) and structural analysis of bridges

The volume of traffic is increasing, in particular that of heavy-haul traffic. At the same time, more and more bridges in Germany have age-related damage or are not designed for the higher loads. Therefore, while demand and stress are increasing, availability is falling. For cost reasons, however, new ones cannot in the near future replace many of the existing bridges. It is therefore necessary to find solutions that guarantee a safe crossing without incurring high additional costs.

Early detection of damage, optimization of maintenance work, extension of service life

According to DIN 1076, bridges must be inspected at regular intervals. A "hands on main inspection" is essentially carried out every six years, followed three years later by a visual "simple inspection" – in each case with regard to stability, traffic safety and durability – supplemented by annual inspections as well as special inspections arranged on a case-by-case basis. To date, there are no legal regulations, standards or guidelines for bridge monitoring in the meantime. This often leads to damage and weak points being discovered too late, which in turn not only leads to higher maintenance and repair costs, but also to considerable safety risks.

The permanent monitoring of the static and dynamic inherent behavior (SHM) under consideration of the number and type of crossings as well as the environmental conditions (Structural Intelligence) has the following objectives:

  • Increased safety and reliability (continuous condition evaluation by evaluating the collected data using intelligent algorithms, short reaction times, message and alarm concept)
  • Increased availability and extended service life of the bridges (avoidance of restrictions on use, targeted control of construction and renovation requirements, real-time traffic control)
  • Long-term economic and efficient use (optimization of maintenance activities, targeted allocation of funds, conservation of personnel resources).

The advantages of using Structural Intelligence on bridges at a glance:

Increased availability

Reduction of life cycle costs

Extension of service life without compromising safety

Reduction of maintenance and repair costs

We specialize in bridges: Services and systems from a single source

Based on all our experience in monitoring complex structures (e.g. foundations of offshore wind turbines) and our core competence in data processing (structural intelligence), which we have built up over many years, we also develop tailor-made structural health monitoring concepts (SHM) for bridges.

We offer bridge monitoring solutions over the entire life cycle of the bridge. Our measurement concept for short-term measurements and continuous monitoring is modular: From a pool of high quality and proven sensors and measuring instruments, we can put together a measuring system individually tailored to your project. Data analysis is carried out using intelligent algorithms, taking into account operating and environmental conditions. The results are concrete recommendations for action, which help increase availability and extend the service life. In our Monitoring Intelligence Center MIC.Bridge we can also take over the reporting and visualization of the data.

The monitoring process

Areas of application

  • Acceptance measurement / zero measurement
    In order to have comparative values for later measurements and to identify defects at an early stage, we determine all relevant parameters at the beginning of the life cycle, including effects by traffic, temperature or wind as well as resistances (acceleration, elongation, inclination).
  • Monitoring to support the verification process
    In order to ensure continuous operation as far as possible without failures and disturbances and to extend the service life of the bridge, we supply missing characteristic values for the critical verifications and accompany the necessary retrofitting measures with measurement technology.
  • Construction condition monitoring
    In order to ensure the safe operation of the bridge construction site and to control the construction progress, we validate calculated temporary construction stages by measuring the associated parameters (also during dismantling).
  • Damage monitoring (e.g. within the scope of recalculations)
    In the event of specific problems and damage (e.g. coupling joint problems, stress corrosion cracking, cracked tendons) we monitor the course of the damage. This is the basis for the development of effective countermeasures and helps to check the effectiveness of the measures after completion of the upgrade.

Please contact me personally

________

I’ll be pleased to advise you on the development of an individual monitoring concept for your civil engineering project as well as on questions concerning our range of products and services in the field of structural intelligence.

Jens Kühne

+49 931 49708208
kuehne@woelfel.de
Formular

Structural Intelligence in civil engineering – Intelligent real-time monitoring, structural health monitoring (SHM) and structural analysis of structures

The service life of structures is difficult to predict, as loads vary greatly and wear is not straightforward. Design and actual stress usually differ from each other. This poses a major challenge – both for the engineers responsible for the safety of the structure and for those responsible for operation and maintenance.

Early detection of damage, optimization of maintenance work, extension of service life

In order to control the condition of the structures and to better plan repairs, monitoring systems are used which continuously record the dynamic loads and the resulting stresses and reactions.

However, our systems do not only record raw data, but rather analyze the entire condition of the structure, taking into account the operating and environmental conditions, using intelligent algorithms (structural intelligence). Based on this, concrete instructions for the user can then be derived. You can find out exactly how our systems work and why you should use Structural Intelligence here.

Our service portfolio in the field of Civil Engineering:

Classical monitoring (e.g. of tunnels, retaining structures, noise protection structures)

  • Recording and evaluation of the true condition of the building
  • Identification of damage and weak points
  • Recording of building loads (traffic loads, weather, dynamic loads, component loads)
  • Monitoring of damage or weak points of critical components (e.g. bridge bearings, roadway transitions, suspension cables, tendons)

Evaluation with the help of Structural Intelligence

  • Calculation of the remaining service life
  • Extension of service life through early detection of damage and optimization of operation
  • Optimization of inspection and maintenance work and intervals (targeted maintenance of critical components)

The analysis and visualization of the collected data takes place in our Monitoring Intelligence Center MIC.Construction.


Please contact me personally

________

I’ll be pleased to advise you on the development of an individual monitoring concept for your civil engineering project as well as on questions concerning our range of products and services in the field of structural intelligence.

Dr.-Ing. Max Gündel

+49 931 49708205
guendel@woelfel.de
Formular

MIC. Bridge and MIC.Construction – Web portals for the remote monitoring of bridges and other structures

Our Monitoring Intelligence Centers MIC.Bridge and MIC.Construction have been developed for the remote monitoring of bridges and other structures as well as construction sites. Here, comprehensive information about the structure itself as well as its operating and environmental conditions is evaluated with intelligent algorithms and made clear and available to the user. They can see at a glance whether limit values are being complied with, whether and where a problem is occurring, what may be the cause and what measures need to be taken to remedy the fault or prevent its progression. Concrete recommendations for action are formulated which help to extend the service life of the building and increase its availability.  

The basis for the data acquisition is a tailor-made SHM concept. The data collected is evaluated and archived automatically. The prepared information is made available to the user in a dashboard, reports can be created on the basis of various templates or individually configured. In addition, alarms can be defined. Optionally, the system can be permanently monitored by our experienced engineers.


Please contact me personally

________

I’ll be pleased to advise you on the development of an individual monitoring concept for your civil engineering project as well as on questions concerning our range of products and services in the field of structural intelligence.

Dr.-Ing. Max Gündel

+49 931 49708205
guendel@woelfel.de
Formular