Bridge safety: System uses acoustic emission to detect compromised suspension cables

As part of a range of measures to safeguard the M48 Severn Suspension Bridge, authorities plan to install a full acoustic emission wire-break detection system for 1,673 meters of each suspension cable. See photo.

08/28/2008


Princeton Junction, NJ Physical Acoustics Limited (PAL), MISTRAS Group Inc ., has teamed up with Severn River Crossing (SRC) and the Highways Agency to monitor the main cables of the M48 Severn Suspension Bridge, which links England to South Wales in the UK.


The M48 Severn Suspension Bridge, which opened in September 1966, has recently undergone invasive investigation of the main cable that revealed corrosion in the individual steel wires and a small number of broken wires. As part of a range of measures to safeguard the structure, SRC appointed PAL to supply and install a full Acoustic Emission (AE) wire-break detection system over the whole 1,673 m (5,487 ft) of each cable.
The acoustic monitoring system listens continuously for sounds from individual wires within the main cable to keep track of the rate and location of any further wire breaks. It uses 90 acoustic emission sensors attached to cable clamps every 36 m along the cable. These passive sensors detect and amplify signals from within the main cable. These data are then processed automatically by one of six local “sensor highway” systems distributed along the bridge on an optical fiber network.
PAL says the use of distributed monitoring systems significantly reduces the amount of cabling required, installation cost, and weight. The six sensor-highway systems are synchronized and report to a base-station on the network, which further processes data and automatically reports time and location of potential wire breaks through a secure Website by email, enabling very efficient, low cost, long term monitoring.
The monitoring system will enhance the ability of the Highways Agency to evaluate the health of this structure and pinpoint regions that might require further invasive cable investigation, currently planned for 2010.
C.G. Masi , senior editor
Control Engineering
Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free.





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Improving flowmeter calibration; Selecting flowmeters for natural gas; Case study: Streamlining assembly systems using PC-based control; CLPM: Improving process efficiency, throughput
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me