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Design of a PZT Sensor Network Based on Guided Lamb Waves for Structural Health Monitoring of Metallic Structures

[+] Author Affiliations
Bruno Rocha, Carlos Silva, Afzal Suleman

University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada

Paper No. IMECE2010-38829, pp. 471-480; 10 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 13: Sound, Vibration and Design
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4450-2
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


A Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) system of metallic structures based on guided Lamb waves is presented. Lamb waves are reflected on discontinuities in material properties and geometries such as damage. Lamb waves present advantages when applied on thin structures due to their low amplitude damping which enables them to travel longer distances. The selection of transducers, their size and selected locations in the structure are described. Additionally, the design, development and implementation of a new signal generation and data acquisition systems is presented in detail. The requirements leading to the development and selection of these systems are explained and particularly the selection of the actuation signal is discussed. A damage detection algorithm based on the comparison between the damaged structural state and a healthy reference state is used to detect damage based on reflected Lamb waves. Subsequently, the detection algorithm based on discrete signals correlation was further improved by incorporating statistical methods. Tests performed on a plate with multiple surface cuts, through the thickness cuts, loosened rivets and cuts originating from rivets resulted in repeatable detections of 1 mm damages with a probability of detection greater that 95%. New tests are currently being performed on composite panels with embedded Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) optical sensor network to detect the fast propagating Lamb waves.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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