Bridge Technology Consulting is the Principal Investigator for this bridge cable mock-up experiment. The mock-up is about 18-ft long and contains hundreds of wires with tension force of 1.3 million pounds. This level of tension is comparable to that on real suspension bridge cable.
The project aims at mimicking the degradation mechanisms that exist on real bridge cables with the use of an environmental chamber that will be built around the cable mock-up. It is of paramount importance to point out that the entire cable cross-section is subject to load. Therefore there is full interaction between the cable load and surrounding degrading environment-induced in the environmental chamber. This will provide realistic and providing sound health monitoring for ongoing degradation in bridge cables utilizing sensor technologies.
The cable mock-up is made of the same high strength steel 5-mm wire that was used for the cables of the Self-Anchored San Francisco-Oakland Bay Suspension Bridge in California. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation.
The project includes the following:
- Construction of a bridge cable mock-up
- Instrumentation of the cable mock-up with different sensors to measure humidity, temperature, corrosion rate, wire breaks and strain degradation
- Construction of environmental chamber around the cable
- Accelerated degradation of the cable mock-up within the environmental chamber
- Comparison of degradation data gathered by sensors and the actual physical damage on wires
- Study of the dehumidification of the mock-up and evaluate the impact of dehumidification on the moisture condition inside the cable