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TRU Compliance Equipment Testing Project Equipment Testing and Certification to Assess Risk

News & Views, Volume 50 | TRU Compliance Equipment Testing Project

EQUIPMENT TESTING AND CERTIFICATION TO ASSESS RISK

By:  Katie Braman

Using a risk-based approach derived from various seismic standards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, TRU and BC Hydro will develop a synthetic test motion in three axes, mount the equipment on a triaxial shake table at TRU’s testing partner’s facility, and test at increasing levels until various levels of damage are observed.

TRU Compliance Equipment Testing Project Equipment Testing and Certification to Assess RiskTRU Compliance, the accredited product certification body of Structural Integrity Associates, has been awarded a contract to assist BC Hydro in qualifying and better understanding the seismic vulnerability of critical equipment used to control its spillway gates.  As part of the larger efforts to seismically upgrade the John Hart, Ladore, and Strathcona dams along the Campbell River system on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, BC Hydro is procuring equipment that allows precise flow control of the water going over the spillway.  Reliable equipment is needed to prevent possible overtopping or having uncontrolled water flow through the spillway.

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News & Views, Volume 49 | Hydroelectric Penstock Inspection - Field NDE Services

News & Views, Volume 49 | Hydroelectric Penstock Inspection: Field NDE Services

News & Views, Volume 49 | Hydroelectric Penstock Inspection - Field NDE ServicesBy:  Jason Van Velsor and Jeff Milligan

Our talented experts, using the latest technology and methods, deliver unmatched value, actionable information, and engineering knowledge for the management of your most critical assets.

Many of the penstocks used in the hydroelectric power industry have been in service for over 50 years.  Often with older components, historical documents like, as-built drawings and proof of material composition no longer exist.  This information is critical for inspection, repair and replacement decisions.  SI has the expertise to assist hydro clients with everything from material verification, inspection, and fitness-for-service analysis to keep penstock assets in-service for many more years to come.

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News & Views, Volume 49 | The 4th Dimension- Lifecycle Assessment of Critical Structures

News & Views, Volume 49 | The 4th Dimension: Lifecycle Assessment of Critical Structures

By:  Dan Parker, PE

News & Views, Volume 49 | The 4th Dimension- Lifecycle Assessment of Critical Structures

By analytically simulating the steps in the construction process, including the sequence of concrete placements, and tracking the history of the material behavior starting from initial placement, the potential for cracking is evaluated by comparing the time dependent stress and strains to the concrete cracking resistance and capacity.

Aging Infrastructure Issues

The infrastructure in the United States is aging and, whether publicly or privately owned, significant resources are required to repair, replace, or modernize it.  Due to the high costs associated with these efforts, owners need to identify structures with high risk-of-failure consequences and find the most cost-effective solutions for rehabilitation.  High consequence infrastructure includes:

  • Highway and railway bridges,
  • Roadways for intra and interstate transportation,
  • Dams, locks, and levees for flood control and cargo transportation,
  • High rise business, apartment, and condominium towers, and
  • Power generation and distribution facilities for Nuclear, Fossil and Hydro utilities.
News & View, Volume 46 | Identifying Failure Mechanisms of Typical I-Section Floodwalls

News & Views, Volume 46 | Identifying Failure Mechanisms of Typical I-Section Floodwalls

By: Eric Kjolsing and Dan Parker

News & View, Volume 46 | Identifying Failure Mechanisms of Typical I-Section FloodwallsIn 2018, Structural Integrity Associates, Inc. (SI) supported the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) in the structural assessment of the concrete-to-steel connection in typical I-Section flood walls. A representative flood wall section is shown in Figure 1. This effort was part of a broader scope of work in which the USACE is revising their guidance for the design of flood and retaining walls, EM 1110-2-6066.  The purpose of the structural assessment was to better understand the mechanics of load transfer from the reinforced concrete section to the embedded sheet pile. Three-dimensional finite element models of the connection were developed employing non-linear constitutive properties for the concrete, structural steel and reinforcement to achieve this goal.  A total of nine different I-Wall configurations with varying wall geometry, sheet pile embedment depth, and connection details were analyzed.  Hydrostatic load was applied incrementally to simulate the actual load distribution due to a rising water level. 

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News & View, Volume 46 | Adding Value Through Test Informed Modeling- Hydro Structures

News & Views, Volume 46 | Adding Value Through Test Informed Modeling: Hydro Structures

By: Eric Kjolsing and Dan Parker

News & View, Volume 46 | Adding Value Through Test Informed Modeling- Hydro StructuresIn 2018, Structural Integrity Associates (SI) supported a utility in the structural assessment of a submerged concrete intake tower.  The tower is nearly a century old and was investigated as part of the utility’s periodic maintenance program. 

The assessment required the generation of an analysis model that accounted for both the structure and the surrounding water.  When accounting for fluid effects, a typical analysis approach is to develop a fluid-structure interaction (FSI) model that explicitly accounts for the interaction between the surrounding water and concrete tower.  However, this modeling approach is expensive both in terms of (a) cost, due to the increased effort needed in generating the model and (b) schedule, due to the increased analysis run time.  In lieu of developing an FSI model, SI implemented an alternative numerical approach to model the effects of the water and justified the approach through physical testing of the in-situ structure.

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News & View, Volume 45 | Improved Asset Management Through Test Informed Analysis

News & Views, Volume 45 | Improved Asset Management Through Test Informed Analysis

News & View, Volume 45 | Improved Asset Management Through Test Informed AnalysisBy:  Eri Kjolsing

Introduction
Structures may experience unforeseen operating environments or site-specific hazards leading to changes in the structure’s performance, safety, and longevity.  These changes often prompt asset owners to undertake analysis efforts to ensure satisfactory structural performance for the updated conditions. However, conventional analyses that fail to capture the true behavior of a structure can lead to inaccurate analysis results, causing owners to make less than ideal asset management decisions.  Structural Integrity (SI) is uniquely positioned to pair our dynamic characterization and advanced structural analysis capabilities to generate a better structural model.  SI vibration experts use impact testing, forced vibration, or ambient excitation sources, along with proprietary signal processing software, to non-destructively characterize the dynamic behavior of structural systems.  This characterization is used to inform advanced structural analyses by SI analysis experts to provide more accurate results related to operational improvements, damage location, and retrofits.

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