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28 June 2002 One year experiences in bridge testing using the loading truck BELFA
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In Germany, a group of researchers from four universities has developed an advanced experimental supported objective condition assessment method for concrete bridges, called 'EXTRA'. This method is useable preferably in cases where conventional assessment methods cannot be applied successfully. In the past more than 250 bridges and buildings were evaluated regarding their real actual load bearing capacity using this objective assessment method. In Germany, an authorized guideline for the practical application of concrete structures is available. Because in the past the process of mounting and dismantling the loading equipment did require the most time of the test duration and also the traffic interruption, the same researchers developed the loading truck BELFA, suitable for bridges with single spans 1 <EQ 18 m. The main aim was to reduce the test duration on less than two days. Since March 2001 the truck prototype with a maximum total loading capacity of 150 t now has been used for testing of more than 10 pilot objects. Operational areas, technical and economical experiences, but also aspects of acceptance are the main subjects, presented in connection with different practice examples. Besides this the truck structure and his flexible applicability for structure control and assessment tasks will be short illustrated. Experiences with the employment of the truck including costs and future possibilities for a cooperation with consulting offices, owners and authorities will be explained.
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Peter Schwesinger, Bianca Thor, and Frank M. Schwesinger "One year experiences in bridge testing using the loading truck BELFA", Proc. SPIE 4696, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Smart Systems for Bridges, Structures, and Highways, (28 June 2002);

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