Measuring Total Transverse Reference-free Displacements of Railroad Bridges using 2 Degrees of Freedom (2DOF): Experimental Validation

by   Lingkun Chen, et al.

Railroad bridge engineers are interested in the displacement of railroad bridges when the train is crossing the bridge for engineering decision making of their assets. Measuring displacements under train crossing events is difficult. If simplified reference-free methods would be accurate and validated, owners would conduct objective performance assessment of their bridge inventories under trains. Researchers have developed new sensing technologies (reference-free) to overcome the limitations of reference point-based displacement sensors. Reference-free methods use accelerometers to estimate displacements, by decomposing the total displacement in two parts: a high-frequency dynamic displacement component, and a low-frequency pseudo-static displacement component. In the past, researchers have used the Euler-Bernoulli beam theory formula to estimate the pseudo-static displacement assuming railroad bridge piles and columns can be simplified as cantilever beams. However, according to railroad bridge managers, railroad bridges have a different degree of fixity for each pile of each bent. Displacements can be estimated assuming a similar degree of fixity for deep foundations, but inherent errors will affect the accuracy of displacement estimation. This paper solves this problem expanding the 1 Degree of Freedom (1DOF) solution to a new 2 Degrees of Freedom (2DOF), to collect displacements under trains and enable cost-effective condition-based information related to bridge safety. Researchers developed a simplified beam to demonstrate the total displacement estimation using 2DOF and further conducted experimental results in the laboratory. The estimated displacement of the 2DOF model is more accurate than that of the 1DOF model for ten train crossing events. With only one sensor added to the ground of the pile, this method provides owners with approximately 40


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