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The paper reports results obtained from an unusual situation in structural monitoring - a "test-to-destruction," measuring strain using a series of fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) sensors on a decommissioned concrete Railway Bridge in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden. The study formed part of the EU "Sustainable Bridges" Project. To undertake the study, FBG-based sensors were chosen and embedded in carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) composite rods incorporated into grooves specially created in the concrete structure and interrogated using a compact system based on wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM). Throughout the study, the FBG sensors were continuously monitored, allowing the incremental increases in the strain to be seen and through the yield point of the carbon composite reinforcement. The sensors were able to follow the resulting induced changes in strain of over a range in excess of 4000 muepsiv just prior to failure of the bridge and representing extreme levels of strain for such a mechanical structure. The measurements made with the FBG-based system were found to be in agreement with the changes expected in the structure (together with the embedded reinforcement), produced by the loading applied. The study has demonstrated the successful use of FBG-based technology premounted in "smart" carbon fiber composite reinforcements used in a test of this type on a typical bridge structure of a type found widely across the world.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2008