Modal flexibility method for structural damage detection in suspension bridges

Wickramasinghe, Wasanthi R., Thambiratnam, David P., & Chan, Tommy H.T. (2014) Modal flexibility method for structural damage detection in suspension bridges. In Xu, Y.L., Zhu, S., Xia, Y., Ni, Y.Q., Law, S.S., Yin, J.H., et al. (Eds.) 6th International Conference on Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure, SHMII-6 2013, Hong Kong.


Suspension bridges meet the steadily growing demand for lighter and longer bridges in today’s infrastructure systems. These bridges are designed to have long life spans, but with age, their main cables and hangers could suffer from corrosion and fatigue. There is a need for a simple and reliable procedure to detect and locate such damage, so that appropriate retrofitting can be carried out to prevent bridge failure. Damage in a structure causes changes in its properties (mass, damping and stiffness) which in turn will cause changes in its vibration characteristics (natural frequencies, modal damping and mode shapes). Methods based on modal flexibility, which depends on both the natural frequencies and mode shapes, have the potential for damage detection. They have been applied successfully to beam and plate elements, trusses and simple structures in reinforced concrete and steel. However very limited applications for damage detection in suspension bridges have been identified to date. This paper examines the potential of modal flexibility methods for damage detection and localization of a suspension bridge under different damage scenarios in the main cables and hangers using numerical simulation techniques. Validated finite element model (FEM) of a suspension bridge is used to acquire mass normalized mode shape vectors and natural frequencies at intact and damaged states. Damage scenarios will be simulated in the validated FE models by varying stiffness of the damaged structural members. The capability of damage index based on modal flexibility to detect and locate damage is evaluated. Results confirm that modal flexibility based methods have the ability to successfully identify damage in suspension bridge main cables and hangers.

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ID Code: 66770
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: suspension bridges, vibration characteristics, modal flexibility, main cables, hangers
ISBN: 9789623677684
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Structural Engineering (090506)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 02 Feb 2014 23:49
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2014 21:28

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