Identification of Structural Property Degradations by Computational Model Updating


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Computational model updating techniques are used to adjust selected parameters of finite element models in order to make the models compatible with experimental data. This is done by minimizing the differences of analytical and experimental data, for example, natural frequencies and mode shapes by numerical optimization procedures. For a long time updating techniques have also been investigated with regard to their ability to localize and quantify structural damage. The success of such an approach is mainly governed by the quality of the damage model and its ability to describe the structural property changes due to damage in a physical meaningful way. Our experience has shown that due to unavoidable modelling simplifications and measurement errors the changes of the corresponding damage parameters do not always indicate structural modifications introduced by damage alone but indicate also the existence of other modelling uncertainties which may be distributed all over the structure. This means that there are two types of parameters which have to be distinguished: the damage parameters and the other parameters accounting for general modelling and test data uncertainties. Although these general parameters may be physically meaningless they are necessary to achieve a good fit of the test data and it might happen that they cannot be distinguished from the damage parameters. For complex industrial structures it is seldom possible to generate unique structural models covering all possible damage scenarios so that one has to expect, that the parameters introduced for describing the damage will not be fully consistent with the physical reality. This is the reason why in the scientific community there is still some doubt if model based techniques can be used at all for practical purposes of damage detection and quantification under in-situ environment conditions. In the present paper we summarize the methodology of computational model updating and report about our experience with damage identification exemplified by practical examples. A new technique and an application of localising and quantifying the damage from updating the parameters of the damaged and the undamaged models simultaneously using the differences of the test data from the damaged and the undamaged structure is also presented. In this application we used the deflections (influence lines) of a beam structure measured under a slowly moving load.



Edited by:

L. Garibaldi, C. Surace, K. Holford and W.M. Ostachowicz




M. Link et al., "Identification of Structural Property Degradations by Computational Model Updating", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 347, pp. 19-34, 2007

Online since:

September 2007




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DOI: 10.1007/978-3-322-94266-1

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