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  • » Zhichuan Tiltmeters and Bridge Health Monitoring
    Post time: 04-22-2020

     On 8 April 2020 at 10:25 am local time, the 260-meter Albiano Magra bridge in Tuscany, Italy collapsed into the Magra river. The traffic on the bridge was unusually light due to the coronavirus quarantine then in force, and the collapse caused only minor injuries to two truck drivers.

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    Albiano Magra bridge after collapse

    It is the third incident involving a road bridge in Italy in recent years. The most catastrophic was the failure of the Polcevera Viaduct in Genoa, which collapsed in 2018, killing 43 people and injuring 13. The rebuild project is on track to be completed later this month.

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    Polcevera Viaduct after collapse

    Following the collapse of the Polcevera Viaduct, a leading Italian research body demanded the implementation of a “Marshall plan” to bring the tens of thousands of bridges across Italy that have exceeded their design life up to standard.

    Meanwhile, monitoring the structural health (SHM) of the year-old bridges becomes another task. 

    Zhichuan’s tiltmeters have been successfully used on various civil structures around the world to monitor possible tilt. On buildings, dams, tunnels, foundations and bridges, Zhichuan’s wired and wireless tiltmeters are working 24-7 for the safety of the public. In Italy, professional SHM companies chose ZC’s E3-4505 E3-4605 and H5-4605 high accuracy tiltmeters to monitor road bridges. Angular change as little as 0.005 degrees can be detected and reported.

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    ZC’s Modbus compliant tiltmeter H5-4605

    In addition to wired tiltmeters that require a cable for data communications, ZC is also introducing its wireless tiltmeter to its customers in the field of SHM.

    ZC's 800ML is a long-range (LoRa) wireless tiltmeter that can be deployed at different locations of a civil structure within the signal coverage of a wireless gateway. With the ability of supporting up to 246 LoRa tiltmeters in theory, the gateway uploads tilt angle data collected to the  engineer’s computer timely and automatically. If the computer and the gateway are in the same office, data communication between them can be built up using a 485-USB converter cable. Otherwise, if the computer is far from the gateway, the 4G modem inside the gateway can be activated to upload data to the office server by means of FTP.

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    The lesson we’ve learned from Albiano Magra bridge collapse is that we need to pay close attention to the early indication that something moves. Zhichuan’s wired and wireless tiltmeters, with their higher reliability and flexibility of application, are probably the best choice for engineering companies who’re responsible for monitoring civil structures such as old and unsafe road bridges.


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