Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site




Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Testing Lab for Bridge Design Debuts

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

More items for Quality Control
More items from North America

Comment | More

With twice the weight of a legal tractor-trailer at 17,000 passes per 24 hours, the BEAST is something most bridges would not want to mess with.

Researcher’s at a Rutgers lab say that’s the point of their invention that can simulate traffic, weather and other conditions that affect the structural integrity—and lifespan—of a bridge. Its creators hope the Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing (BEAST) lab will help design bridges that are stronger and last longer.

“In the past the bridge community didn’t have the ability to accurately predict the future performance of individual structures or the complete bridge system,” said Robert Clark, division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration, in a recent article in New Jersey Advance Media.

Photos: Rutgers University

The BEAST can simulate traffic and environmental conditions that a bridge normally endures over 15 to 20 years in just a few months, its designers say.

“The good news? That was yesterday,” he said. “Today we have the BEAST.”

Addressing the Problem

Designed by the Center for Advance Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) at Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey, the BEAST made its first public appearance on Oct. 14.

According to the lab’s website, the BEAST measures stresses and deterioration caused by extreme traffic and environmental conditions that a bridge normally would endure over a long period of time. But the BEAST is designed to compress that time from 15 to 20 years of wear into a few months.

“We could essentially create temperatures in Alaska or we can create temperatures that are very similar to Florida,” Andrés Roda, a CAIT research engineer, told New Jersey Advance Media. “We’ll be able to go ahead and replicate that and come up with different scenarios for different bridges in different zones.”

According to the FHWA's Bridge Preservation Guide that was printed in 2011, more than 30 percent of U.S. bridges have exceeded their 50-year design life. The CAIT lab says rebuilding the 63,000-plus bridges that are structurally deficient is not only financially impossible, but logistically impossible, too.

The BEAST's loading cart makes more than 17,000 passes on a bridge testing surface in 24 hours.

The idea behind the BEAST, they say, is to be able to design bridges that will last longer while also providing answers about the best way to repair existing infrastructure.

By the Numbers

According to the CAIT lab, the BEAST consists of an environmental chamber that can accommodate a bridge test section of up to 50 feet by 28 feet. It also has a “loading” device that simulates a truck chassis.

The loading cart carries with it up to 60,000 pounds and runs around the clock at 20 miles per hour. Meanwhile, environmental freeze-thaw conditions are simulated to fluctuate between temperatures of 0 degrees Fahrenheit and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Salt brine also is added into the testing mix.

It’s entire list of testing capabilities can be found here on the BEAST’s website.

CAIT does not say how much the BEAST cost to produce. However, it does say that building the machine took 17 months working in collaboration with Applied Research Associates in Vermont.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); Government; Research; Roads/Highways

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA-Tator Training Course Opportunities
• IACET Authorized Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Provider
• Live Basic Coatings Inspection Courses
• Customized/Private Courses
• Online/self-paced curriculums
Contact: Tiffany Kelly at 412-788-1300 x217

HoldTight Solutions Inc.
Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
Removing blasting operators from harmful environments is our key objective.

Fischer Technology Inc.
FISCHER Expands Corrosion Product Line
Rounding out Fischer’s extensive line of products for measuring protective coatings in the corrosion industry is the new ultrasonic wall thickness gauge UMP series.

DeFelsko Corporation
PosiTector SST Soluble Salt Tester
Measures the concentration of soluble salts on metal surfaces. Use with all Bresle patch types including the reusable, adhesive-free PosiPatch.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Enduroguard -
The Tough Cable
for a Tough Industry.
Reduce maintenance costs and down time, increase job site safety with Enduroguard Cable. Available exclusively from SAFE Systems. UL listed, flexible, abrasion resistant and cut resistant.

Carboline Company
New product: Carbozinc® 608 HB
Introducing a new high build zinc-rich primer that can save you time and money by eliminating the epoxy intermediate coat!

Graco Inc.
Graco EcoQuip 2: Experience the Difference
While others claim their equipment is the same, none of them compare to Graco’s EcoQuip 2™ Vapor Abrasive® blasting line. Visit to learn more.

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement
Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us