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Evaluation of the damage detection capability of a sparse-array guided-wave SHM system applied to a complex structure under varying thermal conditions

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4 Author(s)
Clarke, T. ; UK Res. Centre in NDE, Imperial Coll. London, London, UK ; Cawley, P. ; Wilcox, P.D. ; Croxford, A.J.

A sparse-array structural health monitoring (SHM) system based on guided waves was applied to the door of a commercial shipping container. The door comprised a corrugated steel panel approximately 2.4 m by 2.4 m surrounded by a box beam frame and testing was performed in a nonlaboratory environment. A 3-D finite element (FE) model of the corrugations was used to predict transmission coefficients for the A0 and S0 modes across the corrugations as a function of incidence angle. The S0 mode transmission across the corrugations was substantially stronger, and this mode was used in the main test series. A sparse array with 9 transducers was attached to the structure, and signals from the undamaged structure were recorded at periodic intervals over a 3-week period, and the resulting signal database was used for temperature compensation of subsequent signals. Defects in the form of holes whose diameter was increased incrementally from 1 to 10 mm were introduced at 2 different points of the structure, and signals were taken for each condition. Direct analysis of subtracted signals allowed understanding of the defect detection capability of the system. Comparison of signals transmitted between different transducer pairs before and after damage was used to give an initial indication of defect detectability. Signals from all combinations of transducers were then used in imaging algorithms, and good localization of holes with a 5-mm diameter or above was possible within the sparse array, which covered half of the area of the structure.

Published in:

Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 12 )