Prognostic and health management for safety barriers in infrastructures: opportunities and challenges
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Different types of safety barriers are deployed in many infrastructures to reduce the occurrences of hazards, and protect people, environment and other assets in case the unexpected events have occurred and the capacity of these barriers against hazards can be weakened by degradations or the failures related to changes over time. It is natural to adapt the approaches of Prognostic and Health Management (PHM) to monitor the conditions and measurable parameters of safety barriers, and predict their future performance by assessing the extent of degradations. This study aims to identify the uniqueness and possible challenges when implementing PHM on safety barriers. Definitions and classifications of safety barriers will be discussed with considering their installation environment in infrastructures, in order to reveal what kind of characteristics of barriers can lead to higher demand on prognosis and heath monitoring. Another objective of this paper is to review the qualitative and quantitative measures for the capacity and performance of safety barriers, and to explore the possible methods and research gaps in the assessments for different PHM strategies, taking account their effects on safety barriers, and effects on the infrastructures being protected by the barriers.