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Proceedings Paper

Precursor transformation method for damage detection in structures
Author(s): Armin B. Mehrabi; Habib Tabatabai; Hamid R. Lotfi
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Paper Abstract

In this paper, a new concept for damage detection and long- term health monitoring of structures is presented. The Precursor Transformation Method (PTM) is based on determining the causes (precursors) of change in the measured state of the structure under non-variable loading conditions (e.g. dead loads in bridges). The PTM concept addresses the inability of the current structural monitoring methods to discriminate, in structural behavior terms, the meaning of voluminous measured sensor data on a timely and cost effective basis. This method offers advantages in sensitivity and cost efficiency when compared to conventional vibration-based or parameter estimation methods. PTM was developed as part of a research project sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration on bridge stay cable condition assessment. Measured changes in the state of a structure (displacements, strains, internal forces) can be related to precursors through a transformation matrix. This matrix is formed by determining the patterns of change in the state of structure associated with externally imposed strains (temperatures) or displacements representing possible damage scenarios. A finite element model of the undamaged structure is used to calculate these patterns. The use of an undamaged model of the structure in determining damage patterns simplifies the calculation process significantly, while introducing some approximation in results. Theoretical derivations and special case studies indicate that these approximations are limited to second order effects, and in many cases well within measurement and calculation accuracies. Examples using simulated damages on two truss structures and a cable-stayed bridge are also presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 June 1998
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3325, Smart Structures and Materials 1998: Smart Systems for Bridges, Structures, and Highways, (17 June 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.310612
Show Author Affiliations
Armin B. Mehrabi, Construction Technology Labs., Inc. (United States)
Habib Tabatabai, Construction Technology Labs., Inc. (United States)
Hamid R. Lotfi, Construction Technology Labs., Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3325:
Smart Structures and Materials 1998: Smart Systems for Bridges, Structures, and Highways
S.-C. Liu, Editor(s)

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