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IDVIA installs its innovative methodology for structural health diagnosis of the Alamillo Bridge in Seville (Spain)

Puente Alamillo en Sevilla

Thanks to this advanced system, recognised by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 programme as a disruptive technology in this area, it will be possible to carry out the intelligent management of one of the most emblematic bridges designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. 

Given the progressive ageing of bridges in Europe and the increasing stresses to which they are subjected (including those associated with climate change), it is becoming increasingly important for infrastructure managers not only to be able to know the current structural condition but also to predict what the future performance of bridges will be, as this is the only way to design specific predictive maintenance plans to optimise their management and ensure safety.  

The Alamillo Bridge was considered the first cable-stayed bridge in which the weight of the deck was balanced by the pylon, which in this case is 142 metres long with a 32% backward inclination, and also has 26 stay cables of up to 300 metres in length anchored both at the bottom – the deck – and the pylon. Due to its uniqueness from a structural point of view, the prediction of its structural performance requires increasing attention in order to guarantee its correct operation. 

Although the result of the recent overall inspection carried out recently (28 years after the opening of the bridge, coinciding with Expo ’92) found the condition of the Alamillo Bridge to be satisfactory, the company imesAPI has decided to invest once again in innovation by implementing a system for the intelligent management of the bridge in order to optimise maintenance works. 

Thus, our disruptive methodology for the diagnosis of the structural health of bridges has been implemented, which has been recognised as one of the most innovative in the world both nationally and internationally by important entities such as the European Innovation Council (EIC) or the Ministry of Public Works of Chile. 

The basis of IDVIA’s disruptive methodology is the development of a Digital Twin of the bridge, i.e., a mathematical model that is able to represent the real performance of the structure during its lifetime. By using both global and specific deterioration models together with real-time measurements using our own sensors, IDVIA provides the current and future condition of the structure based on the simulation of different scenarios through a digital platform. 

This information is used to assess the structural integrity in real time on a continuous basis, and to plan predictive maintenance to identify the necessary maintenance activities and the right moment to carry them out. 

Thanks to IDVIA’s methodology, imesAPI and the Junta de Andalucía are at the forefront of the growing advance of digitisation in the field of civil infrastructure management worldwide. 

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