Some remarks on the influence of temperature-variations, non-linearities, repeatability and ageing on modal-analysis for structural health monitoring of real bridges
1 University of Luxembourg, Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC), Campus Kirchberg, Research Unit of Engineering Sciences (RUES), L–1359, Luxembourg
2 Fachhochschule, D-55411 Bingen, Germany
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) intends to identify damage by changes of characteristics as for instance the modal parameters. The eigenfrequencies, mode-shapes and damping-values are either directly used as damage indicators or the changes of derived parameters are analysed, such as e.g. flexibilities or updated finite element models. One common way is a continuous monitoring under environmental excitation forces, such as wind or traffic, i.e. the so-called output-only modal analysis. Alternatively, a forced measured external excitation in distinct time-intervals may be used for input-output modal analysis. Both methods are limited by the precision or the repeatability under real-life conditions at site. The paper will summarize several field tests of artificially step-by-step damaged bridges prior to their final demolishment and it will show the changes of eigenfrequencies due to induced artificial damage. Additionally, some results of a monitoring campaign of a healthy bridge in Luxembourg are presented. Reinforced concrete shows non-linear behaviour in the sense that modal parameters depend on the excitation force amplitude, i.e. higher forces lead often to lower eigenfrequencies than smaller forces. Furthermore, the temperature of real bridges is neither constant in space nor in time, while for instance the stiffness of asphalt is strongly dependant on it. Finally, ageing as such can also change a bridge’s stiffness and its modal parameters, e.g. because creep and shrinkage of concrete or ageing of elastomeric bearing pads influence their modulus of elasticity. These effects cannot be considered as damage, though they influence the measurement of modal parameters and hinder damage detection.
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