Non-Destructive Bridge Testing with Acoustic Emission (AE) Sensor

The utilization of non-destructive test and monitoring technologies for bridge safety is one of the research focus areas of Hampton University's Eastern Seaboard Intermodal Transportation Applications Center (ESITAC). The objective of the proposed research is to utilize non-destructive testing technology (NDT), in collaboration with Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT's) District Structure and Bridge Engineering Department, for accurate, reliable and durable methods of structural health monitoring of highway bridges and to help prevent spread of structural failures. Two bridges have been identified as potential test candidates. The bridge on I-164 at the Coast Guard Blvd. in the City of Portsmouth was built in 1991. According to the 2004 data, the average daily traffic on the bridge is 11,337 with 4% truck traffic. The other bridge is in the city of Williamsburg (VDOT Display structure 018 - 1917). This bridge was built in 1939 and has an average daily traffic of 2230 but with 5% daily average of truck traffic. Metal and non-metal bridge structure components will be investigated using NDT of acoustic emission (AE). The major deliverables from the proposed research will include the following: (1) Establish inspection procedures and methodology based on the studies during lean and peak traffic intervals. Investigate the role of thermal factors and incorporate them in the inspection procedures. (2) Provide analysis and research procedures including simple bridge health grading criteria. (3) Simplify the AE technology application for Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) data review and decision making such that if problems are identified with AE, a dedicated system could be put into place for online monitoring.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Department of Transportation

    Research and Special Programs Administration
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC    20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    Hampton University

    School of Engineering and Technology
    Hampton, VA  United States  23668
  • Principal Investigators:

    Parmar, Devendra

  • Start Date: 20081001
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20100228
  • Source Data: RiP Project 19748

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01462441
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Eastern Seaboard Intermodal Transportation Applications Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0029
  • Files: UTC, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:03PM