The federal government will invest more than 260 billion euros in roads, waterways and the rail network until 2060. The majority of these are used for the renewal of existing transport routes. It is still a major effort to establish the need for rehabilitation. In various projects, BAM is investigating the development and system-related assessment of the safety and reliability of innovative building materials, technologies and structures during their entire life-cycle.

Testing methods for safe structures

The safety of infrastructures is a central research field of BAM. In the field of structural safety, it is particularly important to analyse building materials, components and structures under extreme, complex and combined loadings, including fire and explosion scenarios, and to develop new safety concepts. BAM has decades of experience in this field. Test methods and intelligent monitoring systems in structures contribute to a better assessment of the life cycle of infrastructures. Non-destructive testing methods with which, for example, the condition of bridge structures can be determined, are of high importance.

Safety and bearing capacity of bridges

Again and again, ailing bridges in Germany are causing severe problems. In the network of long-distance roads alone there are around 39,500 bridges, which must be continuously monitored and maintained in order to ensure the safety of the infrastructure. Once damage has occurred, rehabilitation measures are often expensive and costly. In this field, for example, BAM is researching innovative methods for life-cycle assessment of bridges to find out how to further guarantee the capacity of 40 to 50-year-old bridges. Here too, sensors are used to detect vibrations and loads that affect the reinforced concrete. Damage can be detected and repaired in due time.