Short-Term Evaluation of Bridge Cables Using Acoustic Emission Sensors

Project No: 87679

Target Completion Date: May 21, 2010 Structures

About the project:

The supporting stay cables of the Varina Enon Bridge on Interstate 295 over the James River contain steel strands with inpidual wires.  This study will determine if the condition of the strands can be assessed by short-term term monitoring with acoustic-emission (AE) instrumentation on a single stay cable of the bridge during periods of both low traffic volumes (acoustically quiet) and high traffic volumes (acoustically noisy).

Scientists will conduct AE monitoring during high- and low-traffic volumes two times during the year to account for summer and winter temperature extremes.  In addition, this study will evaluate signature sounds and/or wire breaks that occurred during test periods.  AE, a non-destructive evaluation (NDE) technique, has the potential to eliminate subjectivity in traditional manual (visual) bridge inspections.

This study will enhance VDOT’s ability to evaluate the health of this structure and to pinpoint regions that might require more in-depth inspections.  It is all part of the overall effort to ensure the continued integrity of the nation’s bridges.

Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, is the primary investigator for this project.  The Research Council will oversee the project on this VDOT-owned bridge.

Project Team

Project Monitor

Other Investigators

  • Devendra S. Parmar

Last updated: July 5, 2023

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