Added safety and reduced maintenance costs with structural health monitoring of bridges!
It is actually quite simple! If you are able to continuously monitor a bridge and thus know in exactly what state it is, you are always in control of the maintenance costs and, more importantly, able to be proactive on maintenance and safety issues. Poor maintenance of bridges has historically led to bridge collapses. One of the latest examples is the Ponte Morandi motorway bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy in 2018.
The DS-Series Displacement sensors from ElastiSense are developed especially for harsh environments, including outdoor settings where they will be exposed to rain, snow, dust, heat, cold, dirt, and other environment and weather-related obstacles.
The main purpose of structural health monitoring of bridges is safety and economy. It is a question of damage detection and characterization strategy for the structures. Aging or degradation to these bridges can potentially affect the performance or, in worst cases, cause damage or collapse. By monitoring the structures, you are able to do predictive maintenance, thus preventing damage or collapse. On a bridge, DS-Series sensors will typically measure the movement of joints, bearings, suspension, the relative distance between the abutments and the seat of the bridge, or cracks in the structure.
The reason why DS-Series sensors are superior to other sensor solutions when it comes to bridge health monitoring is that they consist of an innovative, extremely strong, durable, and very efficient stretch sensor, fully encapsulated in high-grade silicone rubber, with embedded electronics. This makes it extremely durable and resistant to external influences such as rain, snow, dust, heat, cold, dirt, and other environmental and weather-related obstacles. Apart from that, the stretch sensor technology combined with the silicone rubber encapsulation, makes it bendable in all directions and tolerant to over-stroke and misalignment. The technology is unique for ElastiSense products and provides an efficient and optimal alternative to non-contact or cylinder-based sensors. Installation is easy and the sensors require no maintenance. They can just sit there for years and continuously deliver data about the status of the bridge.
DS-Series sensors have proven very efficient for bridge health monitoring in many cases, including "Munkemølle Bridge" in Southern Denmark. Read more about that case right here, or watch the video.
The Norwegian Road Directory (Statens Vegvesen) has also mounted two DS-Series sensors on a bridge in Norway. They measure the relative displacement between the abutments and the seat of the bridge. Displacement is typically caused by changes in temperature and load variations. Precise data about the displacement is essential to be able to foresee wear and tear, fatigue, and potential crack generation on the bridge. The overall purpose is to enable preventive measures and perform predictive maintenance on the bridge. Learn more about the Norwegian case right here!
The Norwegian bridge and the two DS-Series sensors mounted on it.
All cases have in common that DS-Series Sensors enable preventive measures and predictive maintenance on bridges.