Structural Health Monitoring Solutions

Much of the nation’s infrastructure, especially bridges, is in poor condition due to lack of maintenance, design and construction flaws, and from triggering events such as impact loading, scour and earthquakes. Besides catastrophic collapse, deterioration due to age and use is also a great concern. Similarly, the same issues exist in various other industries specifically, related to the aging fleet of power plants, and offshore oil platforms.

In the past, the only cost-effective way to detect potential problems was through visual inspections.  Due to their subjective nature, these inspections are insufficient for providing a complete picture of the condition of a structure.  Additionally, some key structural components such as nuclear reactor cavities or underwater structural components of the deep water platforms are either inaccessible or difficult to inspect.

During the past few years, the need for continuous and autonomous monitoring of structures through the use of permanent monitoring systems has been suggested as a solution to this problem.  Termed structural health monitoring (SHM) systems, such systems would generate objective measurements that aid in cost-effective infrastructure management.

While the sensor technology has existed for many years, only recently has the supportive technology advanced far enough to allow for the further development and implementation of such systems.

SC Solutions contributed its extensive and unique experience in both bridge engineering and control engineering to develop an effective product and system for structural health monitoring.

To develop and test the product, we have been working with Caltrans (California Department of Transportation), MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation) and the Joint Venture team members to test this new technology on the New Carquinez Bridge, a long-span bridge that connects the Solano and Contra Costa Counties, located between Vallejo (on the North side) and Crockett (on the South side) in California and several smaller bridges in Michigan.

Additionally, under separate contracts with Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and ExxonMobil Corporation, SC Solutions has carried out an investigation of the application of the Structural Health Monitoring technology to both nuclear power plant structures, and offshore oil platforms.

For more information about our new Structural Health Monitoring System, please contact