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Mid-America Transportation Center

Sensor-Assisted Condition Evaluation of Steel and Pre-Stressed Concrete Girder Bridges Subjected to Fire – Phase I


Missouri University of Science & Technology

Principal Investigator
Genda Chen
PI Contact Information
Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided
USDOT: $76,164
MS&T: $76,972
Total Project Cost
$ 153,136
Agency ID or Contract Number
Start Date
End Date
Brief Description of Research Project
The overarching goal of this multi-phase study is to develop and validate a post-fire condition evaluation method for steel-girder and prestressed concrete-girder bridges through both experimental and computational models at various scales. The expected end product is a post-fire condition evaluation procedure for girder bridges. The first phase aims to evaluate the condition of a reinforced concrete (RC) deck and its supporting steel girders during and immediately after a fire scenario as a result of fuel tank spilling and validate an existing fire dynamics simulator with measured strain data using distributed fiber optic sensors. A small-scale bridge superstructure of a RC deck and three steel girders will be fabricated and tested in a simulated fire to investigate its thermal degradation process. The specimen could be evaluated following a cascade thermo-mechanical analysis by first predicting the fire dynamics surrounding structural elements based on the fuel tank capacity, then transferring heat from the surface to inside the elements, and finally determining the behavior and condition of the heated elements under gravity loads. However, existing fire dynamics simulators have not been validated systematically since strains in a structural element on fire cannot be measured until recently when distributed fiber optic sensors have been developed and tested in a realistic fire condition.
Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation
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Modal Orientation
  • Bridges
  • Concrete and Pavements
  • Systems