The development of a digitally enhanced visual inspection framework for masonry bridges in the UK

Talebi, S., Wu, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-5633-2229, Al-Adhami, M., Shelbourn, M. and Serugga, J., 2022. The development of a digitally enhanced visual inspection framework for masonry bridges in the UK. Construction Innovation. ISSN 1471-4175

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Purpose: The utilisation of emerging technologies for the inspection of bridges has remarkably increased. In particular, non-destructive testing (NDT) technologies are deemed a potential alternative for costly, labour-intensive, subjective and unsafe conventional bridge inspection regimes. This paper aims to develop a framework to overcome conventional inspection regimes' limitations by deploying multiple NDT technologies to carry out digital visual inspections of masonry railway bridges.

Design/methodology/approach: This research adopts an exploratory case study approach, and the empirical data is collected through exploratory workshops, interviews and document reviews. The framework is implemented and refined in five masonry bridges as part of the UK railway infrastructure. Four NDT technologies, namely, terrestrial laser scanner, infrared thermography, 360-degree imaging and unmanned aerial vehicles, are used in this study.

Findings: A digitally enhanced visual inspection framework is developed by using complementary optical methods. Compared to the conventional inspection regimes, the new approach requires fewer subjective interpretations due to the additional qualitative and quantitative analysis. Also, it is safer and needs fewer operators on site, as the actual inspection can be carried out remotely.

Originality/value: This research is a step towards digitalising the inspection of bridges, and it is of particular interest to transport agencies and bridge inspectors and can potentially result in revolutionising the bridge inspection regimes and guidelines.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Construction Innovation
Creators: Talebi, S., Wu, S., Al-Adhami, M., Shelbourn, M. and Serugga, J.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 17 March 2022
ISSN: 1471-4175
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 13 Apr 2022 10:24
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2022 10:24

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