Centrifuge testing has been undertaken to tackle one of the main causes of bridge failure in what University of Cambridge believes is the first programme of its kind.

The first-ever centrifuge test programme aimed to show how sensitive bridges are to scour and has already revealed that bridges with deep foundations have higher frequency sensitivity to scour than those with shallow foundations.

Scour is the gradual erosion of soil around a bridge due to fast-flowing water and is thought to account for half of all bridge failures around the world.The research team has said that being able to reliably monitor scour could help bridge engineers take timely countermeasures to safeguard against failure.

The findings of the work, which was led by University of Cambridge Gates Cambridge Scholar Kasun Kariyawasam, has been published in a paper in the Journal of Civil Structural Health Monitorin