Experimental Validation of a Damage Detection Approach on a Full-Scale Highway Sign Support Truss


Highway Sign Support Structures Enhance Traffic Safety by Allowing Messages to Be Delivered to Motorists Related to Directions and Warning of Hazards Ahead, and Facilitating the Monitoring of Traffic Speed and Flow. These Structures Are Exposed to Adverse Environmental Conditions While in Service. Strong Wind and Vibration Accelerate their Deterioration. Typical Damage to This Type of Structure Includes Local Fatigue Fractures and Partial Loosening of Bolted Connections. the Occurrence of These Types of Damage Can Lead to a Failure in Large Portions of the Structure, Jeopardizing the Safety of Passing Traffic. Therefore, It is Important to Have Effective Damage Detection Approaches to Ensure the Integrity of These Structures. in This Study, an Extension of the Angle-Between-String-And-Horizon (ASH) Flexibility-Based Approach [32] is Applied to Locate Damage in Sign Support Truss Structures at Bay Level. Ambient Excitations (E.g. Wind) Can Be Considered as a Significant Source of Vibration in These Structures. Considering that Ambient Excitation is Immeasurable, a Pseudo ASH Flexibility Matrix Constructed from Output-Only Derived Operational Deflection Shapes is Proposed. a Damage Detection Method based on the Use of Pseudo Flexibility Matrices is Proposed to Address Several of the Challenges Posed in Real-World Applications. Tests Are Conducted on a 17.5-M Long Full-Scale Sign Support Truss Structure to Validate the Effectiveness of the Proposed Method. Damage Cases Associated with Loosened Bolts and Weld Failures Are Considered. These Cases Are Realistic for This Type of Structure. the Results Successfully Demonstrate the Efficacy of the Proposed Method to Locate the Two Common Forms of Damage on Sign Support Truss Structures Instrumented with a Few Accelerometers. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


National Science Foundation, Grant 1002641

Keywords and Phrases

Damage detection; Flexibility; Full-scale experiment; Sign support truss

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1096-1216; 0888-3270

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2023 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2012