Bridge Cable Inspection with Long-Range Ultrasound

This project will develop, and demonstrate the application of, a rapid and reliable non-destructive method based on long-range ultrasound for inspecting bridge cables. Work in Stage 1 will involve baseline data acquisition and developing inspection specifications. A basic inspection specification will be developed and used in the initial testing under controlled laboratory conditions. Baseline data will be acquired on tensioned wire rope with ultrasonic guided waves to investigate the response from suspender rope accessories which may include gatherers, collars, sockets and separators. Using inspection specification guidelines, artificial defects will be inserted into cables sections that may include flaws hidden behind collars, sockets, and inside collars. The collected data will be analyzed using standard ultrasonic waveform features from the time and frequency domains. Should these features fail to provide the sensitivity level and ability to classify flaws in terms of size, more advanced interpretation techniques including pattern recognition, deconvolution, and wavelet analysis will be employed. Work in Stage 2 will focus on data analysis and field testing. Field testing will be done on one of the cable bridges in the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's transportation grid and possibly on a bridge closer to WaveinSolids' Pennsylvania location. The detection and interpretation procedures developed in Stage 1 will be applied on the suspender ropes of the bridge under test. The ability of the system to detect and classify rope attachments and size flaws will be evaluated. The final report will provide all relevant data on the performance of pattern recognition classifier for reflections from inspected cables along with system specifications and guidelines for implementing the technology by state highway agencies.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-30, IDEA

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Start Date: 20100727
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 26914

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547234
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-30, IDEA
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 4 2014 1:00AM