Monitoring Shear Behavior of Prestressed Concrete Bridge Girders Using Acoustic Emission and Digital Image Correlation

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Oct 1;20(19):5622. doi: 10.3390/s20195622.


In the Netherlands, many prestressed concrete bridge girders are found to have insufficient shear-tension capacity. We tested four girders taken from a demolished bridge and instrumented these with traditional displacement sensors and acoustic emission (AE) sensors, and used cameras for digital image correlation (DIC). The results show that AE can detect cracking before the traditional displacement sensors, and DIC can identify the cracks with detailed crack kinematics. Both AE and DIC methods provide additional information for the structural analysis, as compared to the conventional measurements: more accurate cracking load, the contribution of aggregate interlock, and the angle of the compression field. These results suggest that both AE and DIC are suitable options that warrant further research on their use in lab tests and field testing of prestressed bridges.

Keywords: acoustic emission measurements; crack identification; cracking; digital image correlation; prestressed concrete bridge girders; shear.