Health monitoring of stress‐laminated timber bridges assisted by a hygro‐thermal model for wood material

Stefania Fortino (Corresponding Author), Petr Hradil, Keijo Koski, Antti Korkealaakso, Ludovic Fülöp, Hauke Burkart, Timo Tirkkonen

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Abstract

Timber bridges are economical, easy to construct, use renewable material and can have a long service life, especially in Nordic climates. Nevertheless, durability of timber bridges has been a concern of designers and structural engineers because most of their load‐carrying members are exposed to the external climate. In combination with certain temperatures, the moisture content (MC) accumulated in wood for long periods may cause conditions suitable for timber biodegradation. In addition, moisture induced cracks and deformations are often found in timber decks. This study shows how the long term monitoring of stress‐laminated timber decks can be assisted by a recent multi‐phase finite element model predicting the distribution of MC, relative humidity (RH) and temperature (T) in wood. The hygro‐thermal monitoring data are collected from an earlier study of the Sørliveien Bridge in Norway and from a research on the new Tapiola Bridge in Finland. In both cases, the monitoring uses integrated humidity‐temperature sensors which provide the RH and T in given locations of the deck. The numerical results show a good agreement with the measurements and allow analysing the MCs at the bottom of the decks that could be responsible of cracks and cupping deformations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number1
Early online date24 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Finite element method
  • Humidity‐temperature sensors
  • Monitoring
  • Multi‐phase models
  • Stress‐laminated timber decks
  • Timber bridges
  • Wood moisture content

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