Latest Advances in Smart Components and Monitoring for Civil Structures
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Rapid technical advances and the increasing demand for long design lives of civil structures of any kind make Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) increasingly popular for owners and designers for the valuable information it provides about structural performance. SHM offers a wide range of benefits including increased service life, improved maintenance planning, construction optimization, and risk minimization. For example, it can be used to verify design assumptions or to provide actual measurements in advance of upgrading and repair work. Depending on the objective to be achieved by SHM on any particular structure, systems can be simple and "portable", or sophisticated and comprehensive. SHM can be especially efficient and useful when the sensors that measure data are preintegrated in the design and fabrication of a bridge's key components - in particular, its bearings, expansion joints and dampers/shock transmission units. The benefits are further enhanced by ongoing developments in the communication technologies used to transmit data from the sensors on the bridge to the user's online interface. This paper briefly illustrates the use of this modern technology on bridges in Qatar, Switzerland, Norway, Canada, and India.