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Proceedings Paper

Lamb wave behavior in bridge girder geometries
Author(s): I. J. Oppenheim; D. W. Greve; N. L. Tyson
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Paper Abstract

Lamb waves in plates and in cylindrical pipes have been the subject of extensive study, largely because they propagate great distances with little attenuation, and can therefore be used to detect flaws. In this paper we report finite element simulations and experimental studies of Lamb waves in steel bridge girder geometries. In our studies the Lamb waves are generated by PZT wafer-type transducers mounted on the girder web, driven by a windowed sinusoidal pulse; the pulse center frequency is chosen to yield a frequency-thickness product of roughly 1 MHz-mm, at which the group velocities of the S0 and A0 waves are well separated, and at which waves in higher modes are theoretically absent. Transient dynamic finite element simulations, both in 2D and in 3D, were performed using FEMLAB and ABAQUS. The simulations show that transmission at the web-flange joint creates guided waves in the flanges that travel at different velocities from the Lamb waves in the web, and that reflection at the web-flange joint creates a largely straight-crested wavefront for the Lamb waves in the web remote from the source. Simulation studies also illustrate the acoustic influence of plate girder transverse stiffeners, which is observed to be relatively small. A welded steel plate girder laboratory specimen was fabricated with proportions typical of highway bridge members, at approximately half-scale. The web height is 920 mm and thickness is 3.2 mm, for a representative height-thickness ratio of 288; the flange width is 100 mm and thickness is 6.4 mm, for a representative width-thickness ratio of 16. Small PZT transducers, roughly 6.4 x 6.4 x 0.6 mm, excited at less than 10 V, produce ample signals. We compare simulation results and experimental measurements for Lamb wave illumination of the plate girder segment. We also discuss the detection of cracks, simulated experimentally by saw cuts of varying dimensions in the laboratory girder specimen.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6174, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems, 61742E (11 April 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.643219
Show Author Affiliations
I. J. Oppenheim, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (United States)
D. W. Greve, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (United States)
N. L. Tyson, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6174:
Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems
Masayoshi Tomizuka; Chung-Bang Yun; Victor Giurgiutiu, Editor(s)

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