Optimal inspection scheduling of steel bridges using nondestructive testing techniques

Hsin Yang Chung, Lance Manuel, Karl H. Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


A probabilistic approach is proposed to help select the most suitable nondestructive inspection (NDI) technique and associated optimal schedule for fracture-critical member/detail fatigue inspections on a specific steel bridge. The probability of detection (POD) function for the NDI technique, which is a measure of the detection accuracy, is employed. By combining probability calculations based on use of the POD function together with numerical Monte Carlo simulations of the crack propagation of the fracture-critical detail, a cost function is formulated that includes the expected cost of inspections and failure resulting from the chosen NDI technique and alternative inspection schedules. In summary, the selection of an NDI technique with an associated inspection schedule for fracture-critical inspections is formulated as an optimization problem that can guarantee minimum total cost. The inspection frequency is determined as part of the optimization that utilizes appropriate constraints on inspection intervals and a minimum acceptable (target) structural safety level. A case study for a box girder bridge is presented to demonstrate the application of the proposed probabilistic method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-319
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Bridge Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 May 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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