Many bridges around the world face aging problems and degradation of structural strength. Visual and hammering sound inspections are under way, but the status of inner reinforced iron rods and prestressed concrete (PC) wires has not yet been confirmed. Establishing a diagnosis method for bridges based on X-ray visualization is required to evaluate the health of bridges accurately and to help with the rationalization of bridge maintenance. We developed 950 keV/3.95 MeV X-band electron linac-based X-ray sources for on-site bridge inspection and visualized the inner structure of a lower floor slab. The information regarding wire conditions by X-ray results was used for the structural analysis of a bridge to evaluate its residual strength and sustainability. For more precise inspection of wire conditions, we applied three-dimensional image reconstruction methods for bridge mock-up samples. Partial-angle computed tomography (CT) and tomosynthesis provided cross-sectional images of the samples at 1 mm resolutions. Image processing techniques such as the curvelet transform were applied to evaluate diameter of PC wires by suppressing noise. Technical guidelines of bridge maintenance using the 950 keV/3.95 MeV X-ray sources are proposed. We plan to offer our technique and guidelines for safer and more reliable maintenance of bridges around the world.
Part of the book: Bridge Optimization