Prestressed concrete has been increasingly used in the construction of bridges due to its superiority as a building material. This has necessitated better assessment of its on-site performance. One of the most important indicators of structural integrity and performance of prestressed concrete structures is the spatial distribution of prestress forces over time, i.e. prestress losses along the structure. Time-dependent prestress losses occur due to dimensional changes in the concrete caused by creep and shrinkage, in addition to strand relaxation. Maintaining certain force levels in the strands, and thus the concrete cross-sections, is essential to ensuring stresses in the concrete do not exceed design stresses, which could cause malfunction or failure of the structure. This paper presents a novel method for monitoring prestress losses based on long-gauge fiber optic sensors embedded in the concrete during construction. The method includes the treatment of varying environmental factors such as temperature to ensure accuracy of results in on-site applications. The method is presented as applied to a segment of a post-tensioned pedestrian bridge on the Princeton University campus, Streicker Bridge. The segment is a three-span continuous girder supported on steel columns, with sensors embedded at key locations along the structure during construction in October 2009. Temperature and strain measurements have been recorded intermittently since construction. The prestress loss results are compared to estimates from design documents.
Hiba Abdel-Jaber and Branko Glisic, "Monitoring of prestress losses using long-gauge fiber optic sensors," Proc. SPIE 10170, Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2017, 101702P (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 29, 2017; Published: 5 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2260103.
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