At IABSE 2017, my colleague presented two papers of our research. I didn’t travel to IABSE, because the conference fell right in the middle of my maternity leave.
The first paper is titled “Proof load testing of the viaduct De Beek” and the abstract is as follows:
Proof load testing can be a suitable method to show that a bridge can carry the required loads from the code without distress. This paper addresses the preparation, execution, and analysis of a proof load test on a four-span reinforced concrete solid slab bridge, viaduct de Beek. The bridge has one lane in each direction but was restricted to a single lane since an assessment showed that the capacity is not sufficient to allow both lanes. For this proof load test, the bridge was heavily equipped with sensors, so that early signs of distress can be seen. The difficulty in this test was that, for safety reasons, only the first span could be tested, but that the lowest ratings were found in the second span. A direct approval of the viaduct by proof loading was thus not possible, and analysis was necessary after the field test. The result of this analysis is that only by allowing 6.7% of plastic redistribution in the second span, sufficient capacity can be demonstrated.
You can find the slides of the presentation here:
The second paper is titled “Recommendations for proof load testing of reinforced concrete slab bridges” with the following abstract:
Proof loading of existing bridges is an option to study the capacity when crucial information about the structure is lacking. To define the loading criteria for proof load testing, a review of the literature has been made, finite element models of existing viaducts have been made, and on these viaducts, proof loading tests have been carried out. These bridges were heavily instrumented, to learn as much as possible about the structural behaviour during proof loading. Additional laboratory experiments have been used to develop controlled loading protocols, and to identify which stop criteria can be used for which case. As a result of the analysis and experiments, recommendations are given for proof loading of bridges with respect to the required maximum load and the stop criteria. These recommendations have resulted in a guideline for proof loading of existing reinforced concrete slab bridges for The Netherlands.
This paper was presented in a poster session, with a short pitch. The pitch is as follows:
The poster is: