Feasibility Study for Using Piezoelectric-Based Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) System on Public Roadway
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Weigh-in-Motion system has been the primary selection of U.S. government agencies as the weighing enforcement for decades to protect the road pavement. In recent years, the number of trucks has increased by about 40% and in 2017, they travel 25% more annually than in 2016. The lack of the budget has slowed down the expansion of weighing enforcement to catch up with the growing workload of vehicle weighing. Unsupervised pavement section suffers more pavement damage and increased repairing cost. In this work, a piezoelectric material based WIM system (P-WIM) is developed. Such a system consists of several piezoelectric material disks that are capable of generating characteristic voltage output from passing vehicles. The axle loading of the vehicle can be determined by analyzing the voltage generated from the P-WIM. Compared to traditional WIM system, P-WIM requires nearly zero maintenance and costs 80% less on capital investment and less labor and effort to integrate. To evaluate the feasibility of this technology to serve as weighing enforcement on public roadways, prototype P-WIMs are fabricated and installed at a weigh station. The vehicle loading information provided by the weigh station is used to determine the force transmission percentage of the installed P-WIMs, which is an important parameter to determine the vehicles’ axle loading by generated voltage.