Using weigh-in-motion data to determine bridge dynamic amplification factor
Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Department of Structures, The Section for Bridges and Other Engineering Structures, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
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The dynamic component of bridge traffic loading is commonly taken into account with a Dynamic Amplification Factor (DAF) – the ratio between the maximum dynamic and static load effects on a bridge. In the design codes, this factor is generally higher than in reality. While this is fine for new bridges that must account for various risks during their life-time, it imposes unnecessary conservativism into assessment of the existing well defined bridges. Therefore, analysis of existing bridges should apply more realistic DAF values. One way of obtaining them experimentally is by bridge weigh-in-motion (B-WIM) measurements, which use an existing instrumented bridge or culvert to weigh all crossing vehicles at highway speeds. The B-WIM system had been equipped with two methods of obtaining an approximation to the static response of the. The first method uses the sum of influence lines. This method relies on accurate axle identification, the failure of which can have a large influence on the DAF value. The other method uses a pre-determined low-pass filter to remove the dynamic component of the measured signal; however an expert is needed to set the filter parameters. A new approach that tries to eliminate these two drawbacks has been developed. In this approach the parameters for the filter are determined automatically by fitting the filtered response to the sum of the influence lines. The measurement of DAF on a typical bridge site agrees with experiments performed in the ARCHES  project: dynamic amplification decreases as static loading increases.
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