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Infrastructures, Volume 8, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 19 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Dams and reservoirs have always been of interest to humans, playing a crucial role in social life. The current context of climate emergency and increased pressure from socio-environmental demands require the exploration of opportunities to improve dam safety practices. In this search, the historical review of these practices becomes relevant. Dividing historical periods into homogeneous periods in terms of dam safety paradigms allows us to structure an evolutionary narrative useful for the review of the fundamentals of the two conceptual frameworks applied nowadays. The conclusions of this review in the current context of exponential growth of technologies, such as data generation and processing, artificial intelligence and equivalent tools, open the debate towards new paradigms that provide alternative responses to the current and future demands. View this paper
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16 pages, 4270 KiB  
Article
A Practical Data Extraction, Cleaning, and Integration Method for Structural Condition Assessment of Highway Bridges
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120183 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1271
Abstract
The success of regional bridge condition assessment, a crucial component of systematic maintenance strategies, relies heavily on comprehensive, well-structured regional bridge databases. This study proposes the data extraction, cleaning, and integration method for the construction of such databases. First, this research proposes an [...] Read more.
The success of regional bridge condition assessment, a crucial component of systematic maintenance strategies, relies heavily on comprehensive, well-structured regional bridge databases. This study proposes the data extraction, cleaning, and integration method for the construction of such databases. First, this research proposes an extraction method tailored for unstructured data often present in inspection reports. Additionally, this paper meticulously outlines a cleaning procedure designed to rectify two distinct categories of typical errors that are present within the inspection data. Subsequently, this study takes a holistic approach by establishing integration rules that harmonize data from various sources, including inspection records, monitoring data, traffic statistics, as well as design and construction blueprints. The architectural framework of the regional bridge information database is then meticulously laid out. To validate and demonstrate the effectiveness of the method, this study applies them to a set of representative highway bridges situated within Shandong Province. The results show that this approach can be used to successfully establish a functional regional bridge database. The database plays a pivotal role in harnessing the latent potential of an extensive range of multi-source information and propels the field of bridge condition assessment forward by providing a solid basis for informed decision making and strategic planning in the realm of infrastructure maintenance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic AI Enhanced Civil Infrastructure Safety)
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15 pages, 907 KiB  
Review
Demolition Waste Glass Usage in the Construction Industry
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120182 - 17 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1255
Abstract
Waste glass is an endless issue for the majority of the countries in the world with a linear economy of usage of materials. Demolition waste is counted as part of total construction and demolition waste (CDW). Even today, there are some statistical problems [...] Read more.
Waste glass is an endless issue for the majority of the countries in the world with a linear economy of usage of materials. Demolition waste is counted as part of total construction and demolition waste (CDW). Even today, there are some statistical problems with the quantification of demolition waste and dividing it from total CDW, since most countries do not provide such a division of waste types. The current review shows possible ways of utilizing waste glass in some useful products in the construction industry. It is elaborated using PRISMA@ methodology with bibliometric and qualitative methods to provide a systematical overview of the publications in the period from 2000 to 2023. The bibliometric search was handled with the application RStudio© using sources in the biggest database, Scopus. Most of the published research items are mainly focused on using waste glass in concrete applications. However, there are seven possible areas of waste glass application in the construction industry: concrete products, gypsum–cement composites, asphalt or concrete pavement, geopolymer mortars, foamed glass ceramics, glass ceramics, and soil foundation strengthening/stabilization. In its turn, the circular economy should be applied since it provides a prolonged turnaround of materials throughout their life cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infrastructures Materials and Constructions)
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20 pages, 5914 KiB  
Article
Indexing the Maintenance Priority of Road Safety Barriers in Urban and Peri-Urban Contexts: Application of a Ranking Methodology in Bologna, Italy
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120181 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1352
Abstract
The need for clear and updated information is pivotal when authorities plan and perform routinary, periodic and emergency maintenance of both road network and their roadside assets, e.g., curbs, signals, and barriers. With particular regard to road barriers, the development of remote sensing [...] Read more.
The need for clear and updated information is pivotal when authorities plan and perform routinary, periodic and emergency maintenance of both road network and their roadside assets, e.g., curbs, signals, and barriers. With particular regard to road barriers, the development of remote sensing technologies, such as Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), has played a disruptive role in acquiring information, so the surveys today are predominantly automatic, faster, and less biased than the traditional (i.e., visual and manual) inventorying methodologies. However, even though they are accurate, these emerging procedures usually focus only on the surveyed elements and do not provide any other information about the surrounding environment or about the qualitative degradation of the elements. The primary objective of this research effort was to present a ranking methodology for enhancing road safety in urban contexts. Due to an innovative synthetic index which takes into account both the deterioration and the location of the surveyed elements, maintenance priority of road barriers was outlined in Bologna, Italy. All the collected information was georeferenced in a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment and hence plotted in thematic maps for an easier analysis. In addition, compliance to the norm was verified. The research was tested to provide public authorities with an effective tool in the evaluation of maintenance activities and road safety policies. Full article
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18 pages, 6083 KiB  
Article
Predicting Trajectories of Plate-Type Wind-Borne Debris in Turbulent Wind Flow with Uncertainties
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120180 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1147
Abstract
Debris poses multifaceted risks and jeopardizes various aspects of the environment, human health, safety, and infrastructure. The debris trajectory in turbulent wind flow is more dispersed due to the inherent randomness of the turbulent winds. This paper investigates the three-dimensional trajectories of plate-type [...] Read more.
Debris poses multifaceted risks and jeopardizes various aspects of the environment, human health, safety, and infrastructure. The debris trajectory in turbulent wind flow is more dispersed due to the inherent randomness of the turbulent winds. This paper investigates the three-dimensional trajectories of plate-type wind-borne debris in turbulent wind fields via the method of numerical simulation. A 3D probabilistic trajectory model of plate-type wind-borne debris is developed. The debris trajectories are numerically calculated by solving the governing equation of debris motion and by introducing turbulent wind flows based on the near-ground wind field measured in the wind tunnel to account for the probability characteristics of the debris trajectory. The dimensionless velocities and displacements of the debris trajectory show good agreement with the experimental data in wind tunnel tests, confirming the rationality of the probabilistic trajectory model. Based on the validated trajectory model, the probability characteristics of the debris impact position, impact velocity, and kinetic energy, debris angular displacement, and angular velocity are analyzed in detail under five different wind attack angles. The proposed probabilistic model of plate-type debris in turbulent wind flow provides an accurate and effective method for predicting debris trajectory in three-dimensional space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic AI Enhanced Civil Infrastructure Safety)
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23 pages, 9394 KiB  
Article
Improvements in Urban Rapid Transit Boarding and Alighting Safety during System Modernization
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120179 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1415
Abstract
Urban rail transport has advantages that determine its particular usefulness. However, despite decades of technical development, it is still difficult to speak about satisfactory solutions. Safe, independent access to this transport and public infrastructure for passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) is an essential [...] Read more.
Urban rail transport has advantages that determine its particular usefulness. However, despite decades of technical development, it is still difficult to speak about satisfactory solutions. Safe, independent access to this transport and public infrastructure for passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) is an essential element of civil rights and an interesting subject of scientific research. In relation to that, the interface between rail vehicle and platform, despite multiple efforts aiming at improving this situation, is one of the hardest problems to overcome. This paper presents a summary and analyses of distinctive features of selected transit systems that are interesting from the viewpoint of finding various solutions to improve the safety of passengers on platforms. This analysis led to preparation of a new, improved standard of the vehicle–platform interface, illustrated with an example of the city of Wrocław, as discussed further in this paper. Some of the main conclusions of this paper are that insufficient progress has been made with developing the vehicle–platform interface, there are a multitude of systems and ways of (more or less effectively) ensuring independent access for PRM, and further research and development work is needed to optimize engineering solutions in this domain so they are both sustainable and economical. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Railway in the City (RiC))
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16 pages, 2460 KiB  
Article
Battery Electric Buses or Fuel Cell Electric Buses? A Decarbonization Case Study in the City of Brescia, Italy
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120178 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2459
Abstract
Nowadays, designing and adopting sustainable and greener transport systems is of upmost interest. The European Commission and different EU countries are developing plans and programs—but also delivering resources—aimed at the decarbonization of cities and transport by 2030. In this paper, the case study [...] Read more.
Nowadays, designing and adopting sustainable and greener transport systems is of upmost interest. The European Commission and different EU countries are developing plans and programs—but also delivering resources—aimed at the decarbonization of cities and transport by 2030. In this paper, the case study of the city of Brescia, a city of about 200,000 inhabitants located in northern Italy, is addressed. Specifically, a preliminary operational and financial feasibility study is performed assuming the replacement of the entire compressed natural gas (CNG) powered bus fleet of a specific line; the two alternatives considered are battery electric buses (BEBs) and fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs). For the comparison and evaluation of the two alternatives, specific economic parameters of the three alternatives (BEB, FCEB and the current solution CNGB) were considered: CAPEX (CAPital EXpenditure) and OPEX (OPerational EXpenditure). This allowed us to determine the TCO (total cost of ownership) and TCRO (total cost and revenues of ownership) along three annuities (2022, 2025 and 2030). For the BEB alternative, the TCO and TCRO values are between EUR 0.58/km and EUR 0.91/km. In the case of the FCEB solution, the values of TCO and TCRO are between EUR 1.75/km and EUR 2.15/km. Considering the current CNGB solution, the TCO and TCRO values range between EUR 1.43/km and EUR 1.51/km. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Infrastructures for Urban Mobility)
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21 pages, 2232 KiB  
Article
Evaluation Methodology of the Railway Stations Using the AHP Method in the Transport Hubs from the Freight Transport Point of View
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120177 - 10 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1241
Abstract
Currently, it is necessary to support not only public passenger transport at the expense of individual car transport but also to ensure the modal split of goods from road transport to railway transport. Moreover, it is important to modernize the railway infrastructure, especially [...] Read more.
Currently, it is necessary to support not only public passenger transport at the expense of individual car transport but also to ensure the modal split of goods from road transport to railway transport. Moreover, it is important to modernize the railway infrastructure, especially hubs and other important railway stations in important settlements and big cities. Therefore, it is necessary to constantly invest in railway lines as well as railway stations. The contribution deals with the determination of the methodology for the evaluation of railway stations in freight transport based on current scientific publications and the AHP method. Its main goal is to determine the size of the peak on the network-railway station on the infrastructure manager’s railway network. One of the benefits is the subsequent determination of the next procedure from the given peak in terms of operation, considering the economic complexity of the entire procedure. The methodology is preceded by an extensive analysis of input data in Slovakia and abroad. This methodology defines the parameters or factors that influence decisions for a particular railway freight station. Subsequently, based on the proposed methodology, a practical application is also developed, within which four railway stations on the ŽSR network are evaluated. In a broader sense, the contribution also points to improving the quality of railway infrastructure in cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Railway in the City (RiC))
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15 pages, 2318 KiB  
Article
Damage Identification of Turnout Rail through a Covariance-Based Condition Index and Quantitative Pattern Analysis
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120176 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Subjected to complex loadings from the wheel–rail interaction, turnout rail is prone to crack damage. This paper aims to develop a condition evaluation method for crack-alike damage detection of in-service turnout rail. A covariance-based structural condition index (CI) is firstly constructed by fusing [...] Read more.
Subjected to complex loadings from the wheel–rail interaction, turnout rail is prone to crack damage. This paper aims to develop a condition evaluation method for crack-alike damage detection of in-service turnout rail. A covariance-based structural condition index (CI) is firstly constructed by fusing the time-frequency components of responses, generating a series of patterns governed by the interrelationships between column members in the CI matrix. The damage-sensitive interrelationships latent in CI are then modeled using Bayesian regression and historical data, and baseline patterns are built with predictions of the models and new inputs. The deviations between the baseline patterns and the actual patterns of the newly observed CI members are quantitatively assessed. To synthetically consider the individual assessment results, a technique is developed to combine the individual assessment results into one synthetic result by designing a group of suitable weights taking into consideration both probabilistic confidence and reference model error. If the deviations are within a tolerable range, no damage is flagged; otherwise, damage existence and severity are reported. A case study is conducted, in which monitoring data from the database of a railway turnout are applied to build the CI matrix and examine the damage identification performance of this method. Good agreement between actual conditions and assessment results is found in different testing scenarios in the case study, demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Railway Engineering)
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19 pages, 10368 KiB  
Article
Application and Experimental Validation of Seven-Degree-of-Freedom Beam Element for Girder Bridges during Deck Construction
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120175 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1276
Abstract
During bridge deck construction, the deck finishing machine and the fresh concrete often produce large vertical loads and torsional moments acting on the bridge girder system. In some cases, these loads can cause excessive vertical deflection and transverse rotation in the bridge girders, [...] Read more.
During bridge deck construction, the deck finishing machine and the fresh concrete often produce large vertical loads and torsional moments acting on the bridge girder system. In some cases, these loads can cause excessive vertical deflection and transverse rotation in the bridge girders, leading to many maintenance and safety problems, such as changes in deck thickness and local and global instabilities during construction. To minimize the potential problems caused by deck construction, the AASHOTO LRFD Bridge Design Specification requires consideration of these torsional moments during the design procedure, and a detailed three-dimensional finite element analysis may be conducted. However, for bridge girders with open-section thin-walled sections, only the solid or shell element can be used to recognize the warping of the girder since the torsional warping effect is not included in the classical beam element. In this research, a warping degree of freedom was added to a beam element, and a three-dimensional beam element with seven degrees of freedom (7-DOF) at each node was derived as an alternative method for analyzing girder bridges during deck construction. A computer program based on the 7-DOF beam element was also developed in MATLAB. To assess the 7-DOF beam element, one bridge was selected to measure the transverse rotation, vertical deflection, and stress of the exterior girder and the first interior girder during deck construction. Also, three full-scale numerical models using solid elements, classical three-dimensional beam elements, and 7-DOF beam elements were created based on the geometries and loads of the experimental bridge. A comparative study was conducted by comparing the results from the numerical models and experimental monitoring data to evaluate the 7-DOF beam element. The results showed that the 7-DOF beam element had excellent behavior in analyzing the girder bridges under construction load, especially in the torsional analysis of bridge girders. Also, unlike the solid element model, which also provided reasonable results, the 7-DOF beam element model can compute the internal forces of the cross-sections along the bridge, which allows the 7-DOF beam element to be an alternative approach for design and research requiring less modeling effort and computational complexity. Full article
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18 pages, 4513 KiB  
Review
The Application of Bamboo in the Railway Industry: A Sustainable Solution for Track Construction
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120174 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1406
Abstract
The railway industry has shown a strong interest in utilizing sustainable materials, including recycled materials and composites, in construction. Bamboo, as a highly renewable natural resource, has been proposed as a construction material for the railway industry. This material offers several advantages, such [...] Read more.
The railway industry has shown a strong interest in utilizing sustainable materials, including recycled materials and composites, in construction. Bamboo, as a highly renewable natural resource, has been proposed as a construction material for the railway industry. This material offers several advantages, such as high strength and durability, sustainability, low embodied energy, and ease of handling. It has been used in various construction materials like plywood, scrimber, laminates, and fibers. This paper aims to review the application of bamboo as a material in the railway industry and provide suggestions for its future use as railway sleepers. The mechanical properties of bamboo and its desirable features for sleeper construction, such as versatility, durability, low embodied energy and carbon footprint, lightweight, and ease of handling, are discussed. Bamboo-based products like plywood and scrimber can offer higher mechanical properties compared to traditional timber sleepers. Moreover, due to its rapid growth rate, bamboo is considered an environmentally friendly material. However, there are certain factors that limit the widespread deployment of bamboo in the railway industry. For instance, the lightweight nature of bamboo can reduce the lateral resistance of sleepers. Additionally, long-term performance studies and its performance in regions with varying weather conditions need to be further investigated. This review paper aims to promote the increased utilization of bamboo in the railway industry, contributing to the development of sustainable railway tracks. By considering the mechanical properties and advantageous characteristics of bamboo, it is possible to explore its potential as a viable and eco-friendly material for railway sleepers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Resilient Civil Infrastructure)
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18 pages, 8055 KiB  
Article
The Structural Reliability of the Usumacinta Bridge Using InSAR Time Series of Semi-Static Displacements
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120173 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1326
Abstract
In recent years, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technology has been able to determine the semi-static behavior of bridges. However, most of the research about the use of InSAR in the monitoring of bridges has been applied only in deterministic assessments of their [...] Read more.
In recent years, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technology has been able to determine the semi-static behavior of bridges. However, most of the research about the use of InSAR in the monitoring of bridges has been applied only in deterministic assessments of their performance. Therefore, in the current manuscript, the Usumacinta Bridge, located in Mexico, was evaluated based on a probabilistic methodology to define structural reliability using images from Sentinel-1. In addition, a controlled experiment was developed using a corner reflector (CR) to evaluate the capabilities of InSAR for determining vertical displacements. In the trial, the CR was designed, oriented, and implemented, finding discrepancies concerning leveling of less than 2 mm. On the other hand, the case of the alternative probabilistic approach integrates the reliability of structures theory and probability density functions (PDFs) of displacements obtained via InSAR technology. In summary, the proposed study focused on the analysis of two years of vertical displacements and monthly velocities; then, implementing the alternative probabilistic approach, the reliability index (β) and probability of risk (PR) of the bridge were extracted, respectively. Based on the results of the experimental part of the paper, the displacements indicated maximum and minimum values of reliability index of 8.1 and 3.4, respectively. Within this context, the mean and standard deviation obtained were 5.9 and 1.4, respectively. On the other hand, the monthly velocities showed a maximum probability of risk of 2.61%, minimum value of 1.5 × 10−5%, mean of 0.4%, and standard deviation of 0.8%. Hence, the above-documented results indicate that the Usumacinta Bridge did not suffer any damage during its overloading condition period. Full article
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36 pages, 1992 KiB  
Review
Operational Modal Analysis on Bridges: A Comprehensive Review
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120172 - 04 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Structural health monitoring systems have been employed throughout history to assess the structural responses of bridges to both natural and man-made hazards. Continuous monitoring of the integrity and analysis of the dynamic characteristics of bridges offers a solution to the limitations of visual [...] Read more.
Structural health monitoring systems have been employed throughout history to assess the structural responses of bridges to both natural and man-made hazards. Continuous monitoring of the integrity and analysis of the dynamic characteristics of bridges offers a solution to the limitations of visual inspection approaches and is of paramount importance for ensuring long-term safety. This review article provides a thorough, straightforward examination of the complete process for performing operational modal analysis on bridges, covering everything from data collection and preprocessing to the application of numerous modal identification techniques in both the time and frequency domains. It also incorporates advanced methods to address and overcome challenges encountered in previous approaches. The paper is distinguished by its thorough examination of various methodologies, highlighting their specific advantages and disadvantages, and providing concrete illustrations of their implementation in practical settings. Full article
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17 pages, 1160 KiB  
Review
Dam Safety History and Practice: Is There Room for Improvement?
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120171 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1531
Abstract
Dams and reservoirs have always been of interest to human beings, playing a crucial role given the importance of securing water for sanitary use, irrigation, navigation, flood control and energy generation, among others. The main focus of this article is to perform a [...] Read more.
Dams and reservoirs have always been of interest to human beings, playing a crucial role given the importance of securing water for sanitary use, irrigation, navigation, flood control and energy generation, among others. The main focus of this article is to perform a historical review of dam safety practices. For this purpose, the historical periods are divided into homogeneous periods in terms of dam safety paradigms and, following the narrative of this evolution, the paper considers the fundamentals of the two most important conceptual frameworks applied nowadays: the standard-based approach and the risk-informed one. As a matter of fact, after more than 90 years of experience in the application of dam safety assessment techniques and more than 50 years of recognising and studying the implications of human activity for the environment, today, the industry may have sufficient information and knowledge to take dam safety practice to another stage, being this the core of the discussion that follows the historical review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Dam Engineering of the 21st Century)
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19 pages, 1701 KiB  
Review
Machine Learning for Prediction of the International Roughness Index on Flexible Pavements: A Review, Challenges, and Future Directions
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120170 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1578
Abstract
Timely maintenance of road pavements is crucial to ensure optimal performance. The accurate prediction of trends in pavement defects enables more efficient allocation of funds, leading to a safer, higher-quality road network. This article systematically reviews machine learning (ML) models for predicting the [...] Read more.
Timely maintenance of road pavements is crucial to ensure optimal performance. The accurate prediction of trends in pavement defects enables more efficient allocation of funds, leading to a safer, higher-quality road network. This article systematically reviews machine learning (ML) models for predicting the international roughness index (IRI), specifically focusing on flexible pavements, offering a comprehensive synthesis of the state-of-the-art. The study’s objective was to assess the effectiveness of various ML techniques in predicting IRI for flexible pavements. Among the evaluated ML models, tree ensembles and boosted trees are identified as the most effective, particularly in managing data related to traffic, pavement structure, and climatic conditions, which are essential for training these models. Our analysis reveals that traffic data are present in 89% of the studies, while pavement structure and climatic factors are featured in 78%. However, maintenance and rehabilitation history appears less frequently, included in 33% of the studies. This research underscores the need for high-quality, standardized datasets, and highlights the importance of model interpretability and computational efficiency. Addressing data consistency, model interpretability, and replicability across studies are crucial for leveraging ML’s full potential in fine-tuning IRI predictions. Future research directions include developing more interpretable, computationally efficient, and less complex models to maximize the impact of this research field in road infrastructure management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Smart Infrastructures)
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18 pages, 6210 KiB  
Article
A Study on the Genetic Algorithm Optimization of an Asphalt Mixture’s Viscoelastic Parameters Based on a Wheel Tracking Test
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120169 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1223
Abstract
The generalized Maxwell (GM) constitutive model has been widely applied to characterize the viscoelastic properties of asphalt mixtures. The parameters (Prony series) of the GM are usually obtained via interconversion between a dynamic modulus and relaxation modulus, and they are then input to [...] Read more.
The generalized Maxwell (GM) constitutive model has been widely applied to characterize the viscoelastic properties of asphalt mixtures. The parameters (Prony series) of the GM are usually obtained via interconversion between a dynamic modulus and relaxation modulus, and they are then input to a finite element model (FEM) as viscoelastic parameters. However, the dynamic modulus obtained with the common loading mode only provides the compressive and tensile properties of materials. Whether the compression or tensile modulus can represent the shear properties of materials related to flow rutting is still open to discussion. Therefore, this study introduced a novel method that integrates the Kriging model into the genetic algorithm as a surrogate model to determine the viscoelastic parameters of an asphalt mixture in rutting research. Firstly, a wheel tracking test (WTT) for AC-13 was conducted to clarify the flow rutting development mechanism. Secondly, two sets of the AC-13 viscoelastic parameters obtained through the optimization method and the dynamic modulus were used as inputs into the FEM simulation of the WTT to compare the simulation results. Finally, a sensitivity analysis of viscoelastic parameters was performed to improve the efficiency of parameter optimization. The results indicating the viscoelastic parameters obtained by this method could precisely characterize the development law of flow rutting in asphalt mixtures. Full article
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21 pages, 10292 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Renovation of Public Buildings through Seismic–Energy Upgrading: Methodology and Application to an RC School Building
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120168 - 27 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1321
Abstract
There are many existing buildings for which seismic rehabilitation interventions are required, especially in earthquake-prone areas like Italy. At the same time, the deep energy crisis that Europe is facing highlights the need for sustainable techniques that are able to increase the energy [...] Read more.
There are many existing buildings for which seismic rehabilitation interventions are required, especially in earthquake-prone areas like Italy. At the same time, the deep energy crisis that Europe is facing highlights the need for sustainable techniques that are able to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. In order to mitigate the social and cultural obstacles for deep renovations of buildings, effective techniques and methods are required to avoid relocating users, which often discourages such interventions. To this purpose and as the main novelty, this research is aimed at presenting a new strengthening technique for reinforced concrete buildings that is able to integrate structural seismic strengthening and energy efficiency improvements. It is made up of new framed structures connected from the outside to the existing building, thus reducing the intrusiveness and relocation needs of users. At the same time, the seismic strengthening technique is conceived for an optimal coupling with energy saving interventions like high-performance external insulation finishing systems. In this study, these techniques are described and applied to a reinforced concrete (RC) school building designed only for gravity loads, according to outdated standards. The results show that the considered strengthening technique increases the seismic performance of the building with respect to both life safety and damage limitation requirements, avoiding any further local interventions to the building’s interior. On the other hand, the energy renovation allows for significant savings, since the resulting reduction in the total non-renewable energy consumption is larger than 80%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Resilient Civil Infrastructure)
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18 pages, 3248 KiB  
Article
A Big Data System Architecture to Support the Monitoring of Paved Roads
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120167 - 24 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1353
Abstract
Today, everything is connected, including the exchange of data and the generation of new information. As a result, large amounts of data are being collected at an ever-increasing rate and in a variety of forms, a phenomenon now known as Big Data. Recent [...] Read more.
Today, everything is connected, including the exchange of data and the generation of new information. As a result, large amounts of data are being collected at an ever-increasing rate and in a variety of forms, a phenomenon now known as Big Data. Recent developments in information and communication technologies are driving the generation of significant amounts of data from multiple sources, namely sensors. In response to these technological advances and data challenges, this paper proposes a Big Data system architecture for paved road monitoring and implements part of this architecture on a section of road in Portugal as a case study. The challenge in the case study architecture is to collect and process sensor data in real time, at a rate of 500 records per second, producing 15 GBytes of data per day, using a real-time data stream for real-time monitoring and a batch data stream for deeper analysis. This allows users to obtain instant updates on road conditions such as the number of vehicles, loads, weather, and pavement temperatures on the road. They can monitor what is happening on the road in real time, receive alerts, and even gain insight into historical data, such as analysing the condition of structures or identifying traffic patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Digital Transformation of Road Infrastructures)
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22 pages, 4183 KiB  
Article
Influence of Compaction Energy on the Mechanical Performance of Hot Mix Asphalt with a Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) and Rejuvenating Additive
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120166 - 23 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1531
Abstract
The Mexican asphalt paving industry is increasingly interested in using reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) to produce hot mix asphalt (HMA) due to its economic and environmental advantages. However, an ill-defined methodology for integrating RAP into the HMA mix design has hindered its use. [...] Read more.
The Mexican asphalt paving industry is increasingly interested in using reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) to produce hot mix asphalt (HMA) due to its economic and environmental advantages. However, an ill-defined methodology for integrating RAP into the HMA mix design has hindered its use. This paper investigates how compaction energy affects both rejuvenated and non-rejuvenated recycled HMA mixtures. A Superpave gyratory compactor was used to determine the optimal binder content and find a balance between flexibility and stiffness that meets cracking and rutting resistance requirements. Various recycled HMA mixtures were subjected to different compaction energy levels (75, 100, and 125 gyros), different RAP contents (15%, 30%, and 45%), and various dosages (10%, 15%, and 36%) of the rejuvenating additive Maro-1000®, following the blending chart. Performance was evaluated using the Hamburg wheel tracking test (HWTT) and the fracture energy flexibility index test (I-FIT). The results demonstrate that mixtures with RAP, a rejuvenating admixture, and varying compaction energies exhibit favorable mechanical behavior. However, both rejuvenated and non-rejuvenated mixes with 15% RAP showed performance comparable to conventional mixtures. They improved stiffness by up to 46% while reducing the flexibility index to 25%, striking a balanced equilibrium between rutting resistance and cracking susceptibility. Full article
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14 pages, 4253 KiB  
Article
Comparing Macroscale and Microscale Walkability Indicators to Establish Pick-Up/Drop-Off Locations for a Microtransit Service in a Suburban Area
Infrastructures 2023, 8(12), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures8120165 - 21 Nov 2023
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Abstract
Microtransit is a shared mobility service that operates between fixed-route transit and ride-hailing. It operates with a fleet of vans or minibuses within a service zone that is usually located in a rural or suburban car-oriented area with a transport demand that is [...] Read more.
Microtransit is a shared mobility service that operates between fixed-route transit and ride-hailing. It operates with a fleet of vans or minibuses within a service zone that is usually located in a rural or suburban car-oriented area with a transport demand that is temporally and spatially dispersed. Microtransit often expects customers to walk a short distance to pick-up/drop-off (PUDO) locations. The PUDO points need to be quickly, easily, and safely reachable by pedestrians. Thus, PUDO locations must be chosen after analyzing the walkability of the suburban area served by microtransit. This paper presents a comparison of macroscale and microscale indicators to assess the walkability of suburban neighborhoods where microtransit has to be introduced. We chose three suburban neighborhoods (Partanna Mondello, Tommaso Natale, and Mondello) in Palermo, Italy, as a study area, aiming to identify the best places to locate PUDO stops for a microtransit service. A GIS database has been built associating each link with a series of qualitative and quantitative attributes. Finally, we developed a walkability index that indicates the attractiveness of specific locations in terms of intermodal walkability. We also identified the critical pedestrian links that need actions to improve their walkability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Infrastructures for Urban Mobility)
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