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Thermal Property Analysis of Axle Load Sensors for Weighing Vehicles in Weigh-in-Motion System

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Thermal Property Analysis of Axle Load Sensors for Weighing Vehicles in Weigh-in-Motion System

Piotr Burnos et al. Sensors (Basel).

Abstract

Systems which permit the weighing of vehicles in motion are called dynamic Weigh-in-Motion scales. In such systems, axle load sensors are embedded in the pavement. Among the influencing factors that negatively affect weighing accuracy is the pavement temperature. This paper presents a detailed analysis of this phenomenon and describes the properties of polymer, quartz and bending plate load sensors. The studies were conducted in two ways: at roadside Weigh-in-Motion sites and at a laboratory using a climate chamber. For accuracy assessment of roadside systems, the reference vehicle method was used. The pavement temperature influence on the weighing error was experimentally investigated as well as a non-uniform temperature distribution along and across the Weigh-in-Motion site. Tests carried out in the climatic chamber allowed the influence of temperature on the sensor intrinsic error to be determined. The results presented clearly show that all kinds of sensors are temperature sensitive. This is a new finding, as up to now the quartz and bending plate sensors were considered insensitive to this factor.

Keywords: Weigh-in-Motion; pavement temperature; vehicle axle load sensors.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Diagram and photo of a WIM station.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Quartz and bending plate sensors embedded in the pavement.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Comparison of temperature characteristics of polymer, quartz and bending plate sensors installed in pavement.
Figure 4
Figure 4
A view of the Multi-Sensor WIM site with temperature sensors installed along the road.
Figure 5
Figure 5
(a) Daily pavement temperature change at the MS-WIM site at five measurement points, distributed along the site; (b) A sample daily variation of the weighing error (1) at the MS-WIM site due to the pavement temperature change.
Figure 6
Figure 6
A view of two parts of the load sensor at two different temperatures.
Figure 7
Figure 7
An example of daily temperature variations in two parts of a load sensor: (a) Part A—temperature of part A, Part B—temperature of part B; (b) relative weighing error due to different temperatures of parts A and B.
Figure 8
Figure 8
The influence of temperature on: (a) the equivalent capacitance Cs of a piezoelectric polymer sensor; (b) dissipation factor tg(δ), for 1: sensor with connecting cable, 2: sensor without connecting cable.
Figure 9
Figure 9
The weighing error in a WIM system equipped with piezoelectric polymer sensors, arising exclusively from a change in the sensor parameters due to a change in temperature (intrinsic error).

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