Instrumentation applications for load testing of flexural structural panel members pp.1126-1140
Authors: (Engin Murat Reis and Ufuk Dilek, Structural Engineer, MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc., NC)
Abstract: Foam and honeycomb core sandwich composites are widely used in structural applications. The use of relatively new fiber reinforced polymer sandwich panels for transportation structures, particularly bridge deck applications, was the subject of a research study that involved laboratory experiments, field investigations, analysis and modeling. Laboratory analysis phase of the study consisted of testing for material properties as well as load testing for mechanical behavior of panels under shear and flexural loads. This paper focuses on the load testing phase of the project, and specifically discusses the instrumentation, deformation and strain measurement tools and associated technology used during load testing. The gauges were installed at strategic locations to provide deflection and strain data at positions of interest. The DAQ instrumentation consisted of linear strain gauges, strain gauges installed in rosette orientation, PI gauges, Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT’s) and string potentiometers. The computer hardware consisted of commercially available digital/analog I/O DAQ board with appropriate channels, sampling frequency and associated DAQ software. The load testing was performed on a prototype made of the subject fiber reinforced polymer sandwich panels utilized in flexure and shear, evaluated as a replacement to conventional truck beds.