10984: Smart proof loading of concrete structures

Proof loading is a possibility to establish the condition of existing concrete bridges. In the USA this method is often used, since there are many bridges the data and properties of which are insufficient to obtain a reliable estimation of their bearing capacity with other methods of analysis. The problem with proof loading is that the level cannot be too high, because otherwise the structure will undergo irreversible damage. However, the information obtained is the more reliable, the higher is the loading level. In this research program its is investigated whether the combination of predictions of the bridge cracking behaviour by advanced nonlinear finite element calculations and acoustic emission measurements gives more information with due regard to the safety during loading.