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Synthetic rating system for railway bridge management

By Mehran Aflatooni, Tommy H.T. Chan, David Thambiratnam and Herath Mudiyanselage Indika Thilakarathna

Abstract

Railway bridges deteriorate with age. Factors such as environmental effects on different materials of a bridge, variation of loads, fatigue, etc will reduce the remaining life of bridges. Bridges are currently rated individually for maintenance and repair actions according to the structural conditions of their elements. Dealing with thousands of bridges and several factors that cause deterioration, makes the rating process extremely complicated. Current simplified but practical rating methods are not based on an accurate structural condition assessment system. On the other hand, the sophisticated but more accurate methods are only used for a single bridge or particular types of bridges. It is therefore necessary to develop a practical and accurate system which will be capable of rating a network of railway bridges. This paper introduces a new method for rating a network of bridges based on their current and future structural conditions. The method identifies typical bridges representing a group of railway bridges. The most crucial agents will be determined and categorized to criticality and vulnerability factors. Classification based on structural configuration, loading, and critical deterioration factors will be conducted. Finally a rating method for a network of railway bridges that takes into account the effects of damaged structural components due to variations in loading and environmental conditions on the integrity of the whole structure will be proposed. The outcome of this research is expected to significantly improve the rating methods for railway bridges by considering the unique characteristics of different factors and incorporating the correlation between them

Topics: Rating Bridges, Critical Factors, Bridge Classification, Criticality, Vulnerability, Bridge Management
Publisher: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:58794

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