Innovative damage assessment of steel truss bridges using modal strain energy correlation

Wang, Liang (2012) Innovative damage assessment of steel truss bridges using modal strain energy correlation. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


As a part of vital infrastructure and transportation network, bridge structures must function safely at all times. Bridges are designed to have a long life span. At any point in time, however, some bridges are aged. The ageing of bridge structures, given the rapidly growing demand of heavy and fast inter-city passages and continuous increase of freight transportation, would require diligence on bridge owners to ensure that the infrastructure is healthy at reasonable cost. In recent decades, a new technique, structural health monitoring (SHM), has emerged to meet this challenge. In this new engineering discipline, structural modal identification and damage detection have formed a vital component. Witnessed by an increasing number of publications is that the change in vibration characteristics is widely and deeply investigated to assess structural damage. Although a number of publications have addressed the feasibility of various methods through experimental verifications, few of them have focused on steel truss bridges. Finding a feasible vibration-based damage indicator for steel truss bridges and solving the difficulties in practical modal identification to support damage detection motivated this research project.

This research was to derive an innovative method to assess structural damage in steel truss bridges. First, it proposed a new damage indicator that relies on optimising the correlation between theoretical and measured modal strain energy. The optimisation is powered by a newly proposed multilayer genetic algorithm. In addition, a selection criterion for damage-sensitive modes has been studied to achieve more efficient and accurate damage detection results. Second, in order to support the proposed damage indicator, the research studied the applications of two state-of-the-art modal identification techniques by considering some practical difficulties: the limited instrumentation, the influence of environmental noise, the difficulties in finite element model updating, and the data selection problem in the output-only modal identification methods.

The numerical (by a planer truss model) and experimental (by a laboratory through truss bridge) verifications have proved the effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed damage detection scheme. The modal strain energy-based indicator was found to be sensitive to the damage in steel truss bridges with incomplete measurement. It has shown the damage indicator's potential in practical applications of steel truss bridges. Lastly, the achievement and limitation of this study, and lessons learnt from the modal analysis have been summarised.

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ID Code: 53177
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Chan, Tommy, Tan, Chit, & Thambiratnam, David
Keywords: steel structures, structural health monitoring, through-truss bridge, natural frequency, mode shape, modal strain energy, damage detection, modal correlation, modal coherence, damage sensitivity, genetic algorithm, operational modal analysis, finite element model, finite element analysis, model updating, modal identification, modal test, vibration test, frequency domain decomposition, stochastic subspace identification, operational modal analysis, ambient vibration, output-only modal analysis, accelerometer, randomness check
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 16 Aug 2012 06:52
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015 02:06

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