1 February 2012

Forth Bridge structural movement monitoring. 

Strainstall provides remote monitoring of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As part of a major refurbishment scheme which began in 2002, Strainstall implemented a comprehensive structural monitoring system on the Forth Bridge, outside Edinburgh. Comprising a variety of sensors including linear displacement transducers, rotational potentiometers, inclinometers, temperature sensor and crack meters, it monitors cantilever end roller bearing movements and approach span sliding bearing movements. It also instruments the longitudinal, vertical and transverse movements and rotation about three axes from a connection between the central tower cantilever and one of the suspended spans.

As with our current integrated structural health monitoring system, BridgeWatch®, this system ensures the ongoing life of the asset by allowing for the development of informed and proactive maintenance strategies. Filterable data is provided on the effects of loading, temperature variation and seasonal changes, and hourly readings are stored for retrospective analysis. In this way, operational downtime for the railway is minimised with resultant savings in costs and travel disruption.

Our networked data logger system also improves safety by reducing the need for maintenance personnel to enter the hazardous bridge environment. Whereas previously it was necessary for technicians to take readings from mechanical movement gauges in person at various intervals along the bridge - this system provides them remotely.

The Forth Bridge is an important feature of contemporary UK railway infrastructure. The specially designed durable materials and fitting of Strainstall's structural health monitoring system helps ensure it can continue to safely carry its 200 trains a day.