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Proceedings Paper

Bolted joint looseness damage detection using electromechanical impedance measurements by PZT sensors
Author(s): Mengqi Chen; Bin Xu
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Paper Abstract

Bolted joints are of great importance in steel structures. Any levels of looseness or even failure in the bolted joints if not earlier be found in time, will continuously change the connection strength and stiffness, causing cumulative damage to the structure, or even resulting in a sudden structural failure. Thus, it is crucial to develop efficient detection approach for early looseness in bolted joint. In particular, electro-mechanical impedance (EMI)-based damage detection technique which uses smart piezoelectric Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) patches has emerged as a potential tool for local damage detection of engineering structures. This paper presents a feasibility study on the application of an EMI-based bolted joint looseness detection with PZT patches. One steel specimen and an aluminum specimen were designed and the bolt looseness damage was introduced by loosening some connection bolts. Impedance measurement for each PZT sensor on the two sides of bolted joint with different distances from the loosened bolts was carried out on. A quantitative identification method based on a statistical damage index, the root mean square deviation (RMSD) of the EMI over different frequency bands, was proposed to assess the presence of damage. Results showed the RMSD can detect the existence of looseness damage and the sensitivity of the PZT sensors are investigated for the bolted joint structure. Also, the sensitive region of the PZT patches in different frequency ranges for both specimens were discussed. The proposed approaches have great potential to be applied in practice for the looseness detection in bolted joints.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8409, Third International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering, 840925 (12 April 2012);
Show Author Affiliations
Mengqi Chen, Hunan Univ. (China)
Bin Xu, Hunan Univ. (China)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8409:
Third International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering
Jinsong Leng; Yoseph Bar-Cohen; In Lee; Jian Lu, Editor(s)

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