Imaging a safer future - No 24 - June 2020
The International Road Federation (IRF) is an organization that focuses on the study and improvement of road systems worldwide. It periodically hosts webinars which contribute to knowledge sharing about roadways, and even has a historical compilation of past webinars that can be accessed at any time. NEXCO is a long-time member of the IRF and has participated in many of its events (in-person and online).
On July 1st at 11:00am EST, our President and CEO, Mr. Masato Matsumoto, will host a webinar titled: Non-contact Bridge/Roadway/Tunnel Inspection - Adapting to the New Normal. He will be speaking about how the inspection of bridges, roads, and tunnels can be carried out safely and efficiently during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the topic of continuing construction and repair activities has been actively discussed, the topic of how to approach hands-on inspection is lacking direction. In his presentation, Masato will show how mobile and long-range scanning can help alleviate not only COVID-related measures but inspection practice in general. He will discuss how to reduce field hours and on-site workers required by traditional hands-on inspections. Given that traditional methods make it difficult for inspectors to secure social distancing with colleagues, it will be imperative to implement new methods for collecting data in the field to uphold safe working conditions.
You can register for the webinar and access more information about the presentation, its contents, and the rest of the IRF webinar series. If you are unable to attend, you can always catch a recording in the IRF webinar archive or on our NEXCO YouTube channel.
NEXCO provides imaging services for structures from the inside-out. A recent project conducted in the state of Connecticut demonstrated the efficacy of scanning of all bridge members in - one fell swoop - because we were able to generate full structural crack maps that pinpointed exactly where cracks were occurring and how they were propagating. The project further bolstered our ability to represent crack conditions in accessible formats and served as a representative example of how this technology benefits long-term monitoring.
The bridge featured box girders, complex piers, and a decktop. The box girders and piers were both imaged from the exterior and interior, and the correlation between crack patterns were overlapped to observe through-cracks and the direction of crack patterns. Accurate mapping and the study of significant crack patterns were the main focus of the project, but with the use of hand-held IR cameras, we were also able to notate delamination and leakage as well. In the very same deliverables, leakage could be viewed alongside cracks, spalls, patching, and so forth. Overall, an accuracy rating upwards of 90% for the identification of crack widths was observed.
The selection of adequate test methods and standard procedures generate comparable results, aid the classification of the different deterioration degrees, and the urgency for corrective or preventive interventions. Adequate inspection and evaluation criteria conducted periodically assures reliable and representative data ensuring the maintenance plan of bridges in a safe and economic way for the public. Two years down the road, end-users will be able to refer to this comprehensive dataset and see how fast cracks are propagating. They will be able to measure the total length cracks traveled, and the width they took on.
To review our previous newsletters, conference presentations, and technology, please follow the links below: