Dynamic, Structural Monitoring
of Bridges and Structures Using Computers and Telemetry
General Description of the Structural Integrity System
Karl J. Svaty, Jr., PE, SE, is the President/Manager of Structural Integrity Systems and a licensed structural engineer. (Click here for his resume) He has been designing and constructing bridges and structures for more than 30 years. In his work as a consultant and inspector, there are instances where a visual inspection of a structure does not give him a complete understanding of how the structure is actually reacting to its dynamic loading. About seven years ago, he began to design a remote computer monitoring system that would provide continuous, quantitative data, simply and inexpensively. The System is now patented and in use. It uses computers and telemetry to provide real time information on the dynamic loading of structures. The kind(s) of sensors used and the length of time for the monitoring is determined by the type of data the engineers on the project are interested in obtaining. It can be attached for short term monitoring such as load ratings. It can also be used for long term monitoring associated with seismic response, rehabilitation requirements, and/or responses during on-going construction. The data it provides helps engineers to make decisions concerning:
|1. Loading and Usage of Structures|
|2. Maintenance Requirements|
|3. Load Limits|
|4. Remaining Years of Safe Usage|
|5. Damage Caused by Overloading or Catastrophic Accident|
|6. Earthquake Response|
|7. Possible closure of the structure due to unsafe conditions and/or immanent collapse|
The Structural Integrity Systems On-Board computer samples the data from a variety of possible transducers (strain based, tilt monitor, accelerometer, LVDT, wind speed and direction, temperature) at a rate of 200 HZ. The data can be downloaded immediately on site or stored to be downloaded remotely. There are two programs that can be used, one is for a download at any interval within a twelve hour time span and the other program is for a download once a day, week, or year.
For an example, in Palm Beach, Florida, a project that was in place for 12 months, the stability of the Royal Park Bridge was in question. The structure was being monitored so it could remain open for use while a temporary bridge was built. If the bridge exhibited any behavior that would be considered abnormal, an alarm would sound in bridge tender's office and the structure would be immediately closed to traffic.
In the case of the South Broadway Overpass, Wichita, KS, Structural Integrity Systems, LLC, monitored the structure for 18 months, did the plans for the rehabilitation design, and inspected the construction of the rehabilitation. This project shows that the firm is fully capable of providing a wide range of services. (The rehabilitation design was the first in the United States to use carbon fiber reinforced polymer rods to post tension bridge pier beams.) There is a detailed description of the rehabilitation of this structure in the November 2000 issue of Concrete International magazine. It is titled "City of Wichita Implements Pioneering Rehab Technologies" and is found on pages 38 to 42.
The Palm Beach and South Broadway projects were both long term. The US 24 Pottawatomie County Project used a small modified version of the Structural Integrity System and took place on one day. The engineers monitored traffic on the riveted plate girder structure over an eight hour period to determine if the bridge was a candidate for rehabilitation or if it needed to be completely replaced. For data examples from this project, contact us at 316-744-9746 or fax 316-744-8284.
In each of the above mentioned bridge projects, the clients were saved millions of dollars in rehabilitation costs over replacement costs. Additionally, the structures remained open for public use at all times saving commuters time and vehicle expenses caused by detours. Also, businesses in the area did not suffer customer loss.
The Structural Integrity System was primarily designed for bridges, but it was been used on a variety of other construction projects. The Kemper Arena Construction Project in Kansas City, Missouri, employed the System to monitor the transfer of the roof load from an old roof truss to a new jib. For another example, it has been used by Texaco Oil Company to determine how a roof top crane was affecting the building below it.
The Structural Integrity System is also under consideration for the testing of beams in a parking garage, long term monitoring of a dampening system in a stadium, seismic monitoring of buildings on the west coast, and long term monitoring of a composite (containing no steel) bridge that will use carbon fiber reinforced polymer rods for post-tensioning.
Sundial Bridge California
Rolling Bascule Florida
Royal Park Bridge Florida
South Broadway Overpass Kansas
US 24 Pottawatomie County Kansas
Shawnee County Bridge Kansas
Kemper Arena Construction Missouri
Please call and talk to us concerning the monitoring of
bridges, buildings or other structures.
Thank you for visiting our web site.
Monica L. Svaty
Chief Executive Officer
Karl J. Svaty, Jr., PE, SE
(NEW TELEPHONE NUMBER)
U.S. Patent No. 5,421,204
U.S. Patent No. 5,507,188
Canadian Patent No. 2,163,653
all contents of these pages ©1996 Structural
Integrity Systems L.L.C. 5.96
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