Static and dynamic load tests completed in record time: SHP opts for QuantumX from HBM for bridge monitoring

It was an extremely short time window: Only five days were allowed for static and dynamic load tests on a new bridge across the Nitra river to be conducted by the Czech company SHP. This meant: Two teams performed measurements and tests 24/7. SHP was able to provide its contractor with a detailed analysis already the very next day. One of the secrets behind the success: utilization of HBM's QuantumX data acquisition system for measurement.

Motorways and expressways are the backbone of a country's economic success. For this reason, the Czech Republic has continually invested in the development of national primary routes since the political change in 1989. With success: The motorway and expressway network has since doubled to over 1,000 kilometers.

However, there's more to it than expansion: For quite some time, the Czech state as a contractor has paid attention to low, predictable costs and short construction periods in road construction - at the same time ensuring compliance with all relevant safety standards. Therefore, significant static and dynamic load tests are a must prior to opening a bridge to traffic.

SHP as a partner for the safety of bridges

The Czech company SHP provides safety when it comes down to such tasks. The company, founded in 1991, is located in Brno and offers a wide range of services, for example, static load tests on bridges as well as long-term monitoring and other road construction services. Since 2011, SHP relies on an own ultramodern laboratory for doing static load tests with highly skilled staff, analysis software developed in house - and HBM measurement technology.

An example is the bridge monitoring project at the R1 expressway from Nitra to Banska Bystrica in 2011.

Here, the primary aim was to check the proper functioning and safety of 24 bridges modernized within the framework of the construction project. The first three street sections' short construction period was a particular challenge. Here, SHP engineers were granted less than two months for checking the bridge structures' load-carrying capacity.

Static and dynamic load tests in only five days

This is an enormous challenge - especially since one of the bridges across the Nitra river is over 1 kilometer long. SHP performed static load tests on this bridge within 4 ½ days and, in addition with an external partner, dynamic tests that needed to be completed within half a day.

To enable this short time window to be optimally utilized, two SHP teams took measurements on the bridge 24/7. And, in addition: SHP was able to provide its contractor with a final analysis report directly the following morning after completion of the load tests.

The test setup under the bridge

The secret behind the success: HBM measurement technology

An SHP engineer checking measurements. You can see the QuantumX MX840A module from HBM to the right of the laptop.

The test and measurement equipment used is a key success factor allowing for short response times. For this reason, SHP opted for HBM's ultra-flexible and compact QuantumX MX840A amplifier for its static load tests during which displacement transducers, in particular, were installed at the bridge.

QuantumX combines all the characteristics that are required to manage ambitious measurement projects with short deadlines: Advanced Plug & Measure technology enables sensors to be quickly connected to the instrument - and automatically identified. Measurements can be started quickly and analyzed just as swiftly. Furthermore, QuantumX - thanks to its compact size - is the ideal solution even for mobile applications at bridge structures or in other monitoring projects.

QuantumX, combined with catman®AP measurement software, also from HBM, allows fast data visualization, processing and subsequent use for final reports.

Visualization of measurement data in catman®AP

Customer Statement

"Quick, instant analysis has now become standard in bridge testing. QuantumX allows rapid and reliable measurement data acquisition - and thus helps increase the reliability of our structures." Strasky, Husty and Partners Ltd. (SHP)

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