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SHM to Support Preventive Maintenance of Transportation Structures

Preventive maintenance of both existing and new transportation structures can extend service lives. Cost estimates for such maintenance can be developed using deterioration models. However, due to variability of material properties and construction practices, as well as environmental exposure and traffic loadings actual deterioration of structures can be different from structure to structure and from that predicted by models. Structural Health Monitoring technologies offer a means of assessing the actual condition of transportation structures and can support implementation of preventive maintenance. Research however is needed to develop the parametric databases that relate health monitoring measures with deterioration. Likewise, preventive maintenance approaches which can be used optimally if applied at the appropriate point in the deterioration process need to be added to the toolset for the structure maintenance engineers. The presentation will briefly review some example SHM technologies and identify some applications where advances for monitoring and maintenance are needed.

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