Using 3D laser scanning for estimating the capacity of corroded steel bridge girders: Experiments, computations and analytical solutions

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



This paper explores the use of three-dimensional (3D) laser scanning to evaluate deteriorated steel bridge girders due to corrosion. Initially, a naturally corroded beam from a decommissioned bridge in MA was scanned in the laboratory, and thickness contour maps were developed for mapping the remaining material of corroded parts. The contours are compared to thickness measurements obtained by ultrasonic thickness gauge, and the results validate the efficiency of 3D scanning as a potential technology for bridge inspections. Then, in a second phase, experimental testing of a corroded girder is performed to obtain the capacity and the mode of failure. Finally, in the last part of the paper, the 3D scanning data are combined through an automated procedure with finite element analysis and analytical provisions to examine whether 3D scanning can inform these two tools reasonably for accurate capacity predictions. The results provide good agreement between experimental and predicted failure loads, paving the way for a more efficient, safe, and time-saving inspection protocol.


Original languageEnglish
Article number114407
Number of pages14
JournalEngineering structures
Early online date3 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2022

External IDs

WOS 000817915300001


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • 3D laser scanning, Aging bridges, Corrosion, Experiments, Finite element analysis, Point clouds, Steel girders