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Finite element modeling for health monitoring and condition assessment of long-span bridges

Li Zhaoxia 1 Li Aiqun 1 Tommy Chan Hungtin 2 Guo Li 1 Zhou Taiquan 1 ( 1College of Civil Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China) ( 2Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)  
Serious limitations and problems on the practical use of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and finite element (FE) modeling for the purpose of structural health monitoring and condition assessment are discussed in this paper. The key issues in FE modeling of long-span bridges for health monitoring and condition assessment has been studied by our group for several years. The FE models of the Tsing Ma Bridge (TMB) in Hong Kong and Runyang Yangtse Bridge (RYB) in Jiangsu have been developed respectively for the purpose of structural health assessment and installation of a structural health system on RYB. The result shows that the model for the purpose of health assessment should be developed on the basis of transition theory for linking elements between local-scale at material points and full-scale at the structural level. Model updating and validation are necessary for an accurate modeling of the complicated bridge structures. Some critical components are determined from the analysis of the structural response by using the FE model of TMB in full-scale, then the local FE models are developed and used to determine the behavior of hot-spot stress and fatigue accumulation at critical locations.
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