Development of a Novel Piezoelectric Sensing System for Pavement Dynamic Load Identification
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In order to control the adverse effect of vehicles overloading infrastructure and traffic safety, weight-in-motion (WIM)-related research has drawn growing attention. To address the high cost of current piezoelectric sensors in installation and maintenance, a study on developing a low-cost piezoceramic sensing system is presented in this paper. The proposed system features distributed monitoring and integrated packaging, for calculating vehicle’s dynamic load and its wheel position. Results from the laboratory tests show that the total output of the sensing system increases linearly with the increase of the peak load when the loading amplitude is 5–25 kN (equivalent to the half-axis load of 20–100 kN); when the loading frequency is between 15 Hz and 19 Hz (equivalent to a speed of 17.8–23.2 km/h), the total output of the system fluctuates around a value of 1.305 V. Combined with finite-element simulation, the system can locate load lateral position with a resolution of 120 mm. Due to the protection packaging, the peak load transferred to the sensing units is approximately 4.36% of the applied peak load. The study indicates the proposed system can provide a promising low-cost, reliable and practical alternative for current WIM systems.