Efficiently Monitoring Bridge Loads
The Internet of Things (IoT) offers “smart” solutions that help make life easier and more convenient, improve and streamline processes, and receive information in good time that was previously unavailable or difficult to acquire. Smart solutions are highly personalised but always begin with an object and a sensor.
An important area in which sensors facilitate smart monitoring is in power measurement, where pressure sensors are employed to measure and record load distribution on bridges.
The volume of traffic on our roads is an unknown quantity and the growing proportion of lorries (or trucks) places increasing loads on bridges. But the ground is not a static feature either, since plate tectonics cause everything on the planet to move and the ground beneath our feet to change on a daily basis. These two variables will cause the load distribution on a bridge to change. To ensure continuing safety, it is necessary to continuously monitor and identify changes in the load distribution using sensors.
Previously, bridge loads were displayed using a mechanical indicator on the bridge bearings, which had to be read on site. KELLER has focused its attention on this central supporting element of the bridge and integrated a networked pressure measurement solution into the bearing. The bridge transfers the loads to an elastomer cushion (1). Between the pressure sensor (2) and the elastomer is a layer of grease (3) that functions as a pressure transfer medium and makes it possible to measure the internal pressure due to loading. This change in pressure is determined by a pressure transmitter whose customer specific design integrates perfectly into the bridge bearing.
The GSM module (4) reads the data directly via a digital interface and sends a warning message to those responsible depending on the measured value. The use of stainless-steel-covered pressure sensors with an especially long service life guarantees decades of reliable measurements and functional safety. With the Internet of Things, bridges can be reliably and continuously monitored for changes in load distribution that pose a threat and closed off if necessary.