Designing and Validating Parallel Wire Suspension Bridge Wire Strands for Neutron Diffraction Stress Mapping


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Suspension-bridge cables are constructed from strands of galvanized steel wire. They are failure-critical structural members, so a fundamental understanding of their mechanics is imminently important in quantifying suspension bridge safety. The load-carrying capabilities of such strands after local wire failures have been the subject of many theoretical studies utilizing analytical equations and finite-element analysis. Little experimental data, however, exists to validate these models.Over the past five years we have developed a methodology for measuring stress/strain transfer within parallel wire strands of suspension bridge cables using neutron diffraction [1,2]. In this paper we describe the design and verification of parallel cable strands used in our studies. We describe the neutron diffraction strain measurements performed on standard 7-wire and expanded 19-wire models in various configurations at both the Los Alamos National Laboratory Spectrometer for Materials Research at Temperature and Stress (LANL SMARTS) and at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory VULCAN Engineering Materials Diffractometer (ORNL VULCAN). Particular attention is placed on the challenges of aligning and measuring multibody systems with high strain gradients at body-to-body contact points.



Edited by:

Thomas Holden, Tamas Ungar, Thomas Buslaps and Thilo Pirling






A. Brügger et al., "Designing and Validating Parallel Wire Suspension Bridge Wire Strands for Neutron Diffraction Stress Mapping", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 905, pp. 123-130, 2017

Online since:

August 2017




* - Corresponding Author

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