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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 256816, 18 pages
Research Article

Condition Assessment on Thermal Effects of a Suspension Bridge Based on SHM Oriented Model and Data

1Key Laboratory of Roadway Bridge and Structural Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
2School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
3School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhongyuan University of Technology, Zhengzhou 450007, China

Received 9 October 2013; Accepted 6 November 2013

Academic Editor: Ting-Hua Yi

Copyright © 2013 Bo Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper aims to carry out the condition assessment on temperature distribution and thermal effects of a long span suspension bridge. The structural health monitoring (SHM) oriented data analysis is first performed and several indices are developed to process the time-varying temperature, displacement, and strain responses. An analytical procedure based on heat transfer theory is presented to determine the temperature distributions within the bridge. The fine finite element models of the deck plate, the cross frame, and the bridge tower are constructed for thermal analysis. A new approach to the thermal-structural coupling analysis of long span bridges is proposed to examine the structural thermal effects. The feasibility and validity of the proposed data process method and the new approach for thermal-structural coupling analysis are examined through detailed numerical simulation. The numerical results are compared with the field measurement data obtained from the long-term monitoring system of the bridge and they show a very good agreement, in terms of temperature distribution in different time and in different seasons. This exercise verifies the accuracy of the heat transfer analysis employed and the effectiveness and validity of the proposed approaches for data processing and thermal-structural coupling analysis.