Program: Collaborative Research with Industry (CRI)
Field: Civil Engineering
Principal Investigator: Dr. Tidarut Jirawattanasomkul
Sending University: Kasetsart University (KU)
Japanese Co-Investigator: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yasuhiko SATO
Japanese University: Hokkaido University
This research aims to implement the innovative and upgrade schemes in Department of Highway (DOH)s bridges using the Image Measurement System (IMS) and 3D FEM together with strengthening by FRPs. Throughout Thailand, a national highway network together with one thousand bridges consists of 12 key routes of the Asian Highway (AH) and connected with 17 countries, resulting in excessive traffic volumes to those bridges. Owing to such extensive network and large amount of bridges, a simple assessment based on a visual inspection has been implemented in order to reduce assessment time. This existing assessment in DOH is called Bridge Maintenance Management System (BMMS) based on AASHTO, in which deterioration due to increasing traffic and severe environments like cracks and corrosion are not taken into account. This has led to a lack of in-depth understanding in prediction of actual bridge performances, making them in potentially unsafe.
To implement such innovative system properly, a pilot-scale bridge assessment were performed by selecting the DOH bridges with the most severe damage. The damage levels of bridges should be categorized based on deterioration types, such as corrosion due to chloride attack, scouring due to floods, fatigue loading and excessive loading. One of the typical damages found in Thailand is due to excessive loads together with severe environments and disasters. Using the innovative IMS/3D FEM, the actual bridge performance can be evaluated considering those deterioration factors, while reducing time and maintaining high accuracy. After obtaining the actual bridges conditions, the FRPs should be proposed with regard to design and criteria used in Thailand. This aspect would explore research opportunity for both partners (i.e. university and industry) to work in-depth on research in order to find operating strategies or mitigation measures. With field application of such technology available for operation under real operating conditions, the investigation on these practical aspects being important for technology developers such as universities and industries to accumulate scientific knowledge as well as technical experiences would be highly possible. At the end of this research, applicable maintenance strategies will be developed and budget allocation will be proposed. This research project can connect between practical and academic knowledge through collaboration between universities and department of highway. The future text books will be integrated to be suitable for actual situations of infrastructures. Young researchers, undergraduate and graduate students can develop their technical skills and obtain an indepth understanding on infrastructure management and sustainability. This project indeed leads to several important benefit to both Thai and Japanese society and industry. Throughout this project, the academic sectors can transfer knowledge on infrastructure management (like highway bridge management) to governmental sectors, such as department of highway. This will cause significant enhancement of innovation and advanced techniques in engineering field. In addition, collaboration with several industries in this project will accelerate knowledge and remarkably impact to integration of technologies.
Finally, this project will be a platform for advanced development of infrastructures and move forward Thailand, Japan, and other ASEAN countries to more sustainable world.