Cable Stay Bridge Inspection Service Using Magnetic Flux Leakage

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Bridge inspection with robotic NBI inspection

Robotic Cable Stay Bridge Inspection To Locate Loss Of Metallic Area Using Magnetic Flux Leakage, MFL.

Infraspect, Infraspect is an Engineering company that specializes in developing robotic technology for the inspection of transportation infrastructures.

Infraspect developed the first of its kind robotic infrastructure inspection service called CableScan. CableScan consists of two services;

The first is a robotic visual inspection.

Cable stay bridge inspection

This service was built to replace the current NBI inspection.  CableScan® exceeds all FHWA and AASHTO guidelines for the inspection of Cable Stays on Cable-Stayed bridges. CableScan® inspects 360 degrees of the cable-stay with no required lane closures or bucket trucks.  CableScan® provides much more quantitative data and is safer for inspectors and the traveling public. CableScan® visual provides more data than ever seen before for the same taxpayer dollar as current visual and manual inspection methods.

CableScan® visual is the safest cable-stay bridge inspection providing more quantitative data than ever seen before.

Providing more quantitative data can help asset owners better and more effectively budget for repairs.

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Wire Ropes Saved By Robotic MFL

Magnetic Flux Leakage “MFL”  has been used to detect corrosion and pitting in steel structures. MFL is an electromagnetic non-destructive testing method that is proven and has been utilized for years. Infraspect, “Infraspect” is a non-destructive robotic engineering company that has integrated MFL with robotics and specialized software.

Initially, Infraspect introduced this technology to the Department of Transportation to provide more quantitative data for bridge inspections than ever seen before.

The basic principle is that a powerful magnet is used to magnetize the steel. t initially at areas where there is corrosion or missing metal and today with Infraspects robotic bridge inspection and wire rope inspection technology can inspect all of the cables stays and suspender cables for bridge inspections and during the required NBI inspections.

Magnetic Flux leakage works by measuring the magnetic field that “leaks” from the steel. In an MFL tool, a magnetic detector is placed between the poles of the magnet to detect the leakage field. Analysts interpret the chart recording of the leakage field to identify damaged areas and hopefully estimate the depth of metal loss.

Magnetic flux leakage inspection
Magnetic flux leakage

Infraspect, Infraspect has utilized this 30-year-old technology integrated with advanced robotics and software to develop advanced nondestructive robotic infrastructure testing to better understand our infrastructures and the inspected components’ current condition.

Subsequent inspections can show deterioration progression over time providing more valuable data with each inspection. By understanding the rate of deterioration over time, asset owners can better budget for maintenance and repairs.

Videos the entire exterior and takes stills of any anomalies. Peers through the HDPE sheathing to locate loss of metallic area and corrosion in the steel that holds up the bridge. No lane closures or bucket trucks are required.

Magnetic Flux Leakage for Cable Inspections

MFL (Magnetic Flux Leakage), a tried and true non-destructive testing technology that has been around for 25 odd years, combined with a robotic transportation crawler and specialized software CableScan® provides an unprecedented level of information, loss of metallic area, corrosion, and deterioration progression over time.

MFL is an advanced NDT method that locates broken wires and loss of metallic area (Corrosion) in ferrous materials.

A sensor head with rare-earth magnets magnetizes the material and sensors within the test head are used to measure the flux generated by broken wires or loss of metallic area.

The CableScan MFL robot saturates the internal cables with a magnetic field.

The custom software interprets the percentage of loss in the metallic area.

CableScan® MFL robot saturates the internal cables with a magnetic field.

The custom software interprets the percentage of loss in the metallic area and it is wirelessly beamed back to the base station for back-office processing into a report that is provided to the client.

The footprint for both the equipment and the inspection itself is very small. The equipment ships in 3 small boxes.

A truck was parked on the shoulder with the ground control station and 2 inspectors.

The portable base station can be placed on the bridge depending on the space.

The real-time results locate where in the stay the fault is located.

As well as the distance traveled along with the Stay and the distance along the deck.

It is the responsibility of those tasked with maintaining our infrastructure to utilize the latest in available inspection methods and services to provide for the public’s safety. Updating outdated 50-year-old manual and subjective inspection with modern technologies and methods for the same taxpayer dollar is the easiest and most cost-effective solution.

Imagine a bridge collapse and the Department of Transportation or district head was still conducting a manual inspection. What if a loved one was killed on their way to work thinking that the bridge is safe because it was inspected manually with your taxpayer dollars and yet that manual inspection does not and cannot inspect the wires that actually hold up the bridge,  but only inspects the HDPE casing that is supposed to protect the steel.

According to a Federal Highways, FHWA report “The MFL method can be used to detect the location and extent of corrosion in post-tensioned and precast prestressed strands in concrete girders, and breakage of wires and strands in post-tensioning tendons and prestressing strands. MFL is also commonly used to test the cables of suspension or cable-stayed bridges. MFL units can be clamped onto a cable as part of a climbing module or rolled across a surface.”

Infraspect has taken this to the next level with their introduction of CableScan® MFL. CableScan® MFL can inspect the cables of cable-stay bridges without lane closures or bucket trucks. The MFL unit is drawn by a robotic casing and its software interpretation provides the department of transportation with quantitative data to determine the loss of metallic area in cable stays. Infraspect has also developed a unit for wire ropes, and to inspect external post-tension tendons.

TendonScan MFL. Locates loss of metallic area inside external post-tension tendons.

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Infraspect is a complex bridge inspection, non-destructive testing (NDT), and robotic engineering company. Infraspect utilizes advanced non-destructive testing and robotic technology to produce condition assessment reports that determine the condition and deterioration of today’s infrastructure.

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