UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of bridge coating maintenance Tam, Chun Kwok


Two analysis methods are presented in this thesis to minimize the cost of coating maintenance for steel bridges. The first method is incorporated into the Bridge Corrosion Cost Model. This model performs a life-cycle cost analysis using equivalent annual costs to compare the three maintenance strategies: spot repair, overcoat, and recoat. The strategy that provides the minimum equivalent annual cost is considered to be optimal. A computer application has been developed to reduce the work required to implement the procedures described in this model. The flexibility of this program allows the user to adjust key parameters in order to account for variability in costs and environmental conditions between different regions in British Columbia. In addition, an on-line help feature is provided to reduce the time needed to operate this program. The second method presented in this thesis uses the dynamic programming approach. The procedures are implemented into the Bridge Coating Maintenance Model. In this model, the sum of the costs resulting from a sequence of rehabilitation choices is rninimized. The procedures developed in this analysis can easily be converted into algorithms for possible computer applications. On the basis of the preliminary analysis using these two approaches, spot repair is the most cost effective rehabilitation method. Overcoating is the second most effective strategy and recoating is usually the most expensive solution. However, the difficulty in obtaining adequate deterioration and cost functions for the coating systems will significantly reduce the accuracy of these analysis techniques. Therefore, a uniform data collection system should be implemented so that a database will be available for these models.

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