Crack identification through scan-tuning of vibration characteristics using piezoelectric materials

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Article number25005
Journal / PublicationSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


This research develops a frequency-based methodology with a scan vibration tuning process for crack identification in beam-type structures coupled with piezoelectric materials. Piezoelectric sensor and actuator patches are mounted on the surface of the host beam synchronously to generate feedback excitations for a tuning process by applying a feedback voltage output from the piezoelectric sensors. The feedback excitations can adjust the stiffness at local section of the beam covered by piezoelectric patches so as to tune its natural vibration mode shapes to amplify the natural frequency change due to the existence of the crack. Piezoelectric patches located at different positions of the beam are activated one by one to realize the scan-tuning process. The crack is identified since the natural frequency change is magnified by the piezoelectric sensor and actuator located at the crack position. Theoretical and finite element models of the scan-tuned beam structures coupled with piezoelectric materials are established. From simulation results, the crack existence and location can be effectively detected through the scan-tuning process with 25% natural frequency change due to a crack located at the middle of the beam. Further parameter studies are conducted to study the effects of the crack location and size on the detection sensitivity.

Research Area(s)

  • damage identification, piezoelectric actuators, vibration characteristic tuning