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31 March 2010 Steel bridge fatigue crack detection with piezoelectric wafer active sensors
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Piezoelectric wafer active sensors (PWAS) are well known for its dual capabilities in structural health monitoring, acting as either actuators or sensors. Due to the variety of deterioration sources and locations of bridge defects, there is currently no single method that can detect and address the potential sources globally. In our research, our use of the PWAS based sensing has the novelty of implementing both passive (as acoustic emission) and active (as ultrasonic transducers) sensing with a single PWAS network. The combined schematic is using acoustic emission to detect the presence of fatigue cracks in steel bridges in their early stage since methods such as ultrasonics are unable to quantify the initial condition of crack growth since most of the fatigue life for these details is consumed while the fatigue crack is too small to be detected. Hence, combing acoustic emission with ultrasonic active sensing will strengthen the damage detection process. The integration of passive acoustic emission detection with active sensing will be a technological leap forward from the current practice of periodic and subjective visual inspection, and bridge management based primarily on history of past performance. In this study, extensive laboratory investigation is performed supported by theoretical modeling analysis. A demonstration system will be presented to show how piezoelectric wafer active sensor is used for acoustic emission. Specimens representing complex structures are tested. The results will also be compared with traditional acoustic emission transducers to identify the application barriers.
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Lingyu Yu, Victor Giurgiutiu, Paul Ziehl, Didem Ozevin, and Patrick Pollock "Steel bridge fatigue crack detection with piezoelectric wafer active sensors", Proc. SPIE 7647, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2010, 76471Y (31 March 2010);

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