My coauthors and I recently published a paper “Modelling of the proof load test on viaduct De Beek” for the Euro-C conference that was held in Bad Hofgastein in Austria. The paper discusses how finite element models of a bridge that was load tested can be updated with the results of the bridge test, and how this influences the assessment of the bridge.
The abstract is:
In a proof load test, a load corresponding to the factored live load is applied to a bridge, to directly demonstrate that a bridge fulfils the code requirements. The case of viaduct De Beek, a four-span reinforced concrete slab bridge that did not fulfil the requirements for bending moment after an inspection survey is studied. The middle spans, located above highway lanes, which could not be tested in the field, are the criti-cal spans of this structure. Therefore, the observations from the field are used to check the finite element model, and improve the rating of the critical middle spans. The proposed method can be applied and further extended for proof load tests where the access to the site and the critical position of the viaduct is limited. This improvement will allow for an optimized combination of field testing and modelling, reducing the costs of field tests.