Standard Article

Civil Infrastructure Load Models for Structural Health Monitoring

Physical Monitoring Principles

Modeling of Load and Damage Mechanisms in SHM

  1. Udo Peil

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470061626.shm007

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring

How to Cite

Peil, U. 2009. Civil Infrastructure Load Models for Structural Health Monitoring. Encyclopedia of Structural Health Monitoring. .

Author Information

  1. University of Technology Carolo-Wilhelmina at Braunschweig, Institute for Steel Structures, Braunschweig, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


Load models play an important role in structural health monitoring (SHM). On the one hand, loads and load models are needed for system identification, which is the first step in obtaining a measure of structural health. Different possible loading procedures and their models are discussed in relation to the planned identification outcomes. On the other hand, the characteristics of realistic loads acting on a structure must be known to allow a precise lifetime prediction. In this article, only traffic and wind load models are discussed. Unexpected loads such as earthquakes, blasts, etc., cannot be predicted very accurately; thus, a lifetime assessment is not feasible. A similar situation exists with wind-induced vibrations, e.g., due to vortex shedding, galloping, flutter, etc. These vibrations are usually always dangerous for a structure and may cause fatigue or other types of damage; thus, wind-induced vibrations must be prevented rather than predicted.


  • load model;
  • weak point;
  • inherent damage;
  • force controlled;
  • deflection controlled;
  • electrodynamic exciter;
  • unbalanced masses;
  • ultrasonic;
  • piezo;
  • wind effects;
  • gust;
  • turbulence