Metal-core Piezoelectric Fiber (MPF) was shown to have great potential to be a structurally integrated sensor for structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. Compared with the typical foil strain gauge, MPF is more suitable for high frequency strain measurement and can create direct conversion of mechanical energy into electric energy without the need for complex signal conditioners or gauge bridges. In this paper, a MPF-based smart layer is developed as an embedded network of distributed strain sensors that can be surface-mounted on a thin-walled structure. Each pair of the adjacent MPFs divides the entire structure into several “virtual elements (VEs)”. By exciting the structure at the natural frequency of the VE, a “weak” formulation of the previously developed Pseudo-excitation (PE) approach based on sparse virtual element boundary measurement (VEBM) is proposed to detect the damage. To validate the effectiveness of the VEBM based approach, experiments are conducted to locate a small crack in a cantilever beam by using a MPF- based smart layer and a Laser Doppler Vibrometer (LDV). Results demonstrate that the proposed VEBM approach not only inherits the enhanced noise immunity capability of the “weak” formulation of the PE approach, but also allows a significant reduction in the number of measurement points as compared to the original version of the PE approach.
Chao Zhang, Li Cheng, Jinhao Qiu, Hongyuan Wang, and Hao Xu, "Metal-core piezoelectric fiber-based smart layer for damage detection using sparse virtual element boundary measurement," Proc. SPIE 9803, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2016, 980321 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 23, 2016; Published: 20 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2218518.
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