Active Sensor Arrays for Damage Detection


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In presented research a problem that belongs to the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) topic was investigated. Special arrays of active sensors were used for damage detection. These sensors were piezoelectric transducers. They were attached to specimen under investigation and used to excite and sense guided elastic waves – Lamb waves. Each array comprised of uniquely placed transducers. The total number of transducers was the same for all considered arrays. This ensured that the same number of signals was used to obtain damage information. A numerical algorithm was proposed to process these signals. It was designed to be independent of sensor arrangement so it could be used for all considered arrays. The principal idea behind the algorithm is that obstacles on a wave path cause wave reflection. These reflections are represented in the time signals. The algorithm was used to associate energy of these reflections with a particular area of the investigated specimen. The value of the energy was extracted from all the signals and projected to coordinate system associated with the specimen edges. In order to test and compare proposed arrays artificial defects were introduced to the specimen to model damaged structure. Because the specimen with defect and signal processing algorithm were the same, the only variable that could influence damage detection was the type of the array. In the investigation damage detection results were obtained for considered arrays. Although the number of sensors were invariable, differences in damage indication exist. This suggest that the type of sensor array should be precisely chosen for a particular application. Even simplest linear array may be sufficient but it depends where we want to apply it.



Edited by:

R.A.W. Mines and J.M. Dulieu-Barton






P. Malinowski et al., "Active Sensor Arrays for Damage Detection", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 24-25, pp. 51-56, 2010

Online since:

June 2010


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