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Proceedings Paper

Qualitative health monitoring of a steel bridge joint via piezoelectric actuator/sensor patches
Author(s): John W. Ayres; Frederic Lalande; Craig A. Rogers; Zaffir A. Chaudhry
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents a qualitative health monitoring technique to be used in real-time damage evaluation of civil infrastructures such as bridge joints. The basic principle of the technique is to monitor the structural mechanical impedance which will be changed by the presence of structural damage. The mechanical impedance variations are monitored by measuring the electrical impedance of a bonded piezoelectric actuator/sensor patch. This mechanical- electrical impendance relation is due to the electromechanical coupling property of piezoelectric materials. This health monitoring technique can be easily adapted to existing structures, since only a small PZT patch is needed, giving the structure the ability to constantly monitor its own structural integrity. This impedance-based method operates at high frequencies, which enables it to detect incipient-type damage and is not confused by normal operating conditions, vibrations, changes in the structure, or changes in the host external body. This health monitoring technique has been applied successfully to a variety of light structures. However, the usefulness of the technique for massive structures needs to be verified experimentally. For this purpose, a 500 lb quarter-scale deck truss bridge joint was built and used in this experimental investigation. The localized sensing area is still observed, but the impedance variations due to incipient damage are slightly different. The localized sensing area is still observed, but the impedance variations due to incipient damage are slightly different. Nevertheless, by converting the impedance measurements into a scalar damage index, the real- time implementation of the impedance-based technique has been proven feasible.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 November 1996
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2946, Nondestructive Evaluation of Bridges and Highways, (13 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.259139
Show Author Affiliations
John W. Ayres, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Frederic Lalande, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Craig A. Rogers, Univ. of South Carolina (United States)
Zaffir A. Chaudhry, United Technologies Research Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2946:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Bridges and Highways
Steven B. Chase, Editor(s)

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