The early detection of damage in structural or mechanical systems is of vital importance. With early detection, the damage may be repaired before the integrity of the system is jeopardized, resulting in monetary losses, loss of life or limb, and environmental impacts. Among the various types of structural health monitoring techniques, vibration-based methods are of significant interest since the damage location does not need to be known beforehand, making it a more versatile approach. The non-destructive damage detection method used for the experiments herein is a novel vibration-based method which uses an index called the EMD Energy Damage Index, developed with the aim of providing improved qualitative results compared to those methods currently available. As part of an effort to establish the integrity and limitation of this novel damage detection method, field testing was completed on a mechanical pipe joint on a condensation line, located in the physical plant of Dalhousie University. Piezoceramic sensors, placed at various locations around the joint were used to monitor the free vibration of the pipe imposed through the use of an impulse hammer. Multiple damage progression scenarios were completed, each having a healthy state and multiple damage cases. Subsequently, the recorded signals from the healthy and damaged joint were processed through the EMD Energy Damage Index developed in-house in an effort to detect the inflicted damage. The proposed methodology successfully detected the inflicted damages. In this paper, the effects of impact location, sensor location, frequency bandwidth, intrinsic mode functions, and boundary conditions are discussed.
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Julie Briand, Julie Briand, Davood Rezaei, Davood Rezaei, Farid Taheri, Farid Taheri, "Damage detection of an in-service condensation pipeline joint", Proc. SPIE 7649, Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security 2010, 76491T (8 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.847633; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.847633

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