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SHM - 
Structural Health Monitoring

Bilfinger Structural Health Monitoring -

stands for efficient & cost-effective structural monitoring of civil engineering structures.

It enables the early detection and precise localization of incipient damage mechanisms under challenging environmental conditions.

Reliable & efficient support in End of Life Management

The public infrastructure is under constant observation. The distrust of engineering structures grows with every disaster that happens in the world. Due to aging and fatigue, building materials and materials of complex structures such as bridges, tunnels or retaining structures change their properties. As a result, the structural characteristics of the entire structure can change.

As a result of these changes, the maintenance and monitoring costs for public operators increase. To reliably and accurately monitor changes in material properties, Bilfinger Structural Health Monitoring (BSHM) offers a secure alarm system.


Progress in economy and safety!


Sensor-based monitoring takes the conventional verification/inspection philosophy of public operators to a new level. The monitoring provides reliable information in real time about changes in the structural integrity of the building. Maintenance tasks can thus be planned and executed more efficiently.


Smart network


A smart network of different sensors enables the monitoring of damages without having to make structural changes.

Even the smallest changes in the structural condition are recorded by intelligent and automated evaluation of data from highly sensitive acoustic emission and application-related sensor technology.

The special feature of monitoring is the integrated acoustic emission analysis. The structure of the building is continuously diagnosed and automatically reported by the installed acoustic emission system.


Detection of microstructural damage

Passive, piezoelectric sensors record the sound emissions caused by damage events such as cracks, fractures and crack bank friction in the building structure. Microstructural damages, such as crack formation at welding seams, can be detected in this way.


Data fusion

Often it is not individual damages that lead to the failure of a building structure, but the accumulation of several events. The core of the BSHM is therefore the data fusion and intelligent evaluation of all sensor data. The result is processed and graphically displayed in an interface. Thus an event-oriented inspection can be performed.

Project examples


Monitoring of tendons in prestressed concrete bridges

  • Integral monitoring of tendons for individual wire breaks
  • Non-destructive application of the sensors on the surface of the concrete
  • No need to expose the tendons
  • Exact recording of time and place of the change of the structural condition
Exposed cladding tube
Broken tension wire
Further broken tension wire
Remote Monitoring
Application of the sensor network at selected hotspots
Setup server terminal

Long-term monitoring of weld seams, plates and girders on steel bridges

  • Hotspot monitoring: focused on individual weld joints or critical areas
  • Non-destructive application of the sensors on the surface of the steel
  • Detection of crack formation and crack propagation
  • Monitoring of already existing cracks
  • Localization of newly developing damages
Sebastian Schmidt
Leiter Zerstörungsfreie Prüfungen
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