Probabilistic deterioration model of high-strength steel wires and its application to bridge cables

Shunlong Li, Yang Xu, Songye Zhu, Xinchun Guan, Yuequan Bao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Bridge inspections reveal that severe corrosion and fatigue are the main failure mechanisms of bridge stay cables. This paper presents an empirical modelling of the long-term deterioration process of steel wires in cables with consideration of the simultaneous occurrence of uniform corrosion, pitting corrosion and fatigue induced by a combined action of environmental aggression and cyclic loading. Accelerated corrosion experiments are conducted to determine the different corrosion levels of high-strength steel wires, and time-dependent statistical models are developed to quantify uniform and pitting corrosion depth. Corrosion-fatigue process of steel wires is subsequently simulated using the corrosion models and cyclic stress obtained through cable force monitoring data. The mechanical properties of corroded steel wires, including yield stress, ultimate stress, ultimate strain and modulus of elasticity, are experimentally characterised, and the statistical models are established through regression analysis. Finally, the deterioration models of high-strength steel wires (including crack depth, ratio of broken wires, and remaining strength, among others) is extended to probabilistically assess the time-variant conditions of bridge cables (sectional area loss and remaining capacity). The presented study on the long-term deterioration of bridge cables would provide guidance to future decision-making regarding the maintenance and replacement of bridge cables.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1240-1249
Number of pages10
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2015


  • accelerated corrosion experiments
  • corroding cables
  • structural health monitoring
  • time-dependent probabilistic models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Probabilistic deterioration model of high-strength steel wires and its application to bridge cables'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this