By Joel Scanlon
An associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech named Wright carried out a study based on the size of materials with structural functions. The current engineers intend using advanced materials and analysis tools for renovating the infrastructure of the nation that was constructed back in the 1950s.
Being proficient in engineering and designing for bridge spans, this Virginia Tech civil engineer initiates his effort on a fracture control plan for steel bridges pledging to change the assessment practices and the fabrication of bridges.
At present, the highway administration demands a concentrated inspection on structures. The current fracture control plan did not continue with the progress in the computerized system analysis and materials, although developed in the 1960s.
Wright says that most of the bridge engineers have the ability to perform a specific evaluation such as a three-dimensional flexible restricted element system of bridge analysis. This is a potent tool that forms the basis for internal load re-distribution analysis in fractured structures like bridges. However, there is a non-linear problem due to the structural system’s strength made of steel and concrete that involves a mixture of concrete crushing, steel yielding, steel buckling, and connection failure. The flexible three-dimensional method of analysis leads to an increased estimation on the reliability and strength of a damaged bridge when all the factors are not taken into account.
Hence, Wright and Conner are focusing on a more broad approach, intending to develop a complete systems method in order to estimate the stability of the system, the fracture and low energy states of steel, the potency of the connections in the structure, the overall condition and the value of a functional overview.