STRAAM equipment

Mainmark presents STRAAM at International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management in Melbourne

Mainmark presents STRAAM at International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management in Melbourne

When the 9th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management (IABMAS) takes place in Melbourne this July, the topic of safety will be high on the agenda. 

Mainmark’s Technical Sales Manager, Max Kudrenko, will present on one of the world’s most advanced structural monitoring platforms which can help determine the current and long term safety of dams, buildings and bridges.

STRAAM (or Structural Risk Assessment And Management) is a technology that measures a structure’s ‘heartbeat’, or the normal vibrations that occur in response to environmental factors, and identifies any abnormal responses that may indicate structural damage or weakness.

Bridges have evolved over several thousand years. Initially made with simple materials and designs, bridges today span immense distances over rivers, gorges, inaccessible terrain, strongly elevated surfaces and pre-built city infrastructures. The integrity and stability of bridges is paramount to the safety of cities and communities all over the world.

STRAAM utilises the normal traffic conditions and wind loads on the structure to measure its frequency response. This allows the quick calibration of Finite Element Models that can be used to accurately assess the strength of the structure.

STRAAM uses accelerometers sensitive enough to detect and collect low amplitude vibration data. The accelerometers measure displacement, tilt and dynamics, while the strain gauges measure deflection. STRAAM takes information from these accelerometers and uses an algorithm to identify what the natural frequencies are of a structure.

Being able to measure those almost-imperceptible structural movements has far-reaching benefits that include making structures safer, understanding the risks and causes of damage, assigning liability for events, and managing assets more effectively.

Furthermore, this information allows changes in the capacity of structures to be tracked, whether due to ageing, impact, earthquake or flood activity, by identifying a shift in the vibration of the structure and associated natural frequencies, mode shapes and damping ratios.

Importantly, STRAAM technology can make communities more resilient to natural disasters, and help keep people and property safe.

Max will discuss how STRAAM has been used in Australia recently, including the monitoring of a bridge spanning Dandenong Creek in Melbourne which required ground works to correct sunken approach slabs to the deck. STRAAM was used before the project commenced, giving the contractor certainty that there would be no damage to the bridge as a result of earthworks.

Access to detailed vibration measurement data offers significant advantages over conventional types of inspection by identifying structural problems before they become visually apparent. It helps asset owners to make more informed decisions about maintenance.

STRAAM is also economically efficient and can be preformed quickly with the baseline data recording completed in a day.  Continuous monitoring will then identify if the dynamic response is changing over time, particularly if there is nearby construction work underway, severe weather, seismic events or an increase traffic loading on the structure, which can have a serious impact on foundations.

Conference attendees can join Max for a detailed presentation on STRAAM at the IABMAS 2018 conference during session 1B on Tuesday 10th July.

By Claire Hartley – Head of Marketing

Claire Hartley joined Mainmark in 2015 and has extensive experience gained in a range of organisations across the APAC region and the UK; from large multinationals and start-ups to industrial B2B, IT and online businesses.