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Environmental Science/Bridge Structure Load / Stress Testing Tools.


QUESTION: Dear David

Are there Load / Stress Testing available during Bridge Site Inspection which will help the Structural
Engineer to take a decision whether the Bridge requires renovation measures ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: There are a number of tools which can indirectly measure stress.  I don't know of any which can directly measure the stress, although things like strain gauges cna measure stress directly, they must be placed on a structural member before it is loaded.
There may be other laser techniques, with which I am not familiar, which can measure stress, but i believe that the initial state has to be known of an unloaded or unstressed structure first.
Hope that helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear David

Thank you.‎‎‎

The Functional Blocks are 1. Input 2. Process 3. Output.

Is it possible to design and develop machines/tools/instruments/devices which will / can produce the results /outputs as after feeding the input - Stress Load - Weight as Automobiles, Human beings, Animals etc, Time Period and Strength of materials - concrete, steel, sand, bricks, cement, wood etc do the mathematical calculations/computations in the processing part and give the results (output) as "20 % structural repairs/renovation measures required", "50 % structural repairs/renovation measures required", "100 % structural repairs/ renovation measures required", "0 % structural repairs/renovation measures required"  similar to Geological Instruments ?.

Detailed analysis reports could be "Specific Column/Beam repairs required".‎‎

For examples : Multiple Cables probes physically connected to the column beam/s below the ground accepting the distribution Load of the Bridge structure, Calculations of the stress forces and producing the Output by the instrument/s as mentioned.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

That's how design is made. We input the properties of the materials and the locations and balance that against the projected loads. But that's done during the design phase, not after construction. This is an area with which I have only limited familiarity.  You need to talk to a structural engineer, and I'm sure that they have one or more on this site.
Good luck.

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David L. Russell, PE


I`m a Chemical,Civil and Environmental Engineer and have a number of projects in all phases of the environment. I have worked in the chemical industry and am active in professional societies, and am currently on an industrial wastes committee for the Water Environment Federation, and have taught courses in remediation in the US and abroad. I have written one book on Remediation of petroleum Contaminated Sites, and have a second book on PRACTICAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT to be published by John Wiley in September, 2006. I've also written over 30 articles on various elements of environmental problems and cleanup. Most Recently, I have addressed a NATO Scientific and Techical Conference on Ecoterrorism, and have worked with the same group on remediation of sites contaminated with Chemical Warfare Agent materials and othe materials as well. . I can answer q`s about Chemical and Environmental Engineering, land development, air pollution, water pollution, soil and water cleanup, combustion, international environmental problems, industrial processes chemical processes. Civil and Environmental and Chemical Engineering. Overall, I have over 35 years of experience in this area. Note: I do not answer homework questions


I love work in the third world and developing areas because it is challenging and one can get a sense of accomplishment.

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