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Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(6), 173; doi:10.3390/app6060173

On Site Investigation and Health Monitoring of a Historic Tower in Mantua, Italy

Department Architecture, Built environment and Construction engineering (DABC), Politecnico di Milano, P.za Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milan 20133, Italy
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Academic Editors: Dimitrios G. Aggelis and Nathalie Godin
Received: 28 December 2015 / Revised: 26 April 2016 / Accepted: 27 May 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustic and Elastic Waves: Recent Trends in Science and Engineering)
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Abstract

The paper describes the strategy adopted to assess the structural condition of the tallest historic tower in Mantua (Italy) after the Italian seismic sequence of May–June 2012 and exemplifies the application of health monitoring using (automated) operational modal analysis. The post-earthquake survey (including extensive visual inspection, historic and documentary research, non-destructive (ND) material testing, and ambient vibration tests) highlighted the poor state of preservation of the upper part of the tower; subsequently, a dynamic monitoring system (consisting of a few accelerometers and one temperature sensor) was installed in the building to address the preservation of the historic structure, and automated modal identification was continuously performed. Despite the low levels of vibration that existed in operational conditions, the analysis of data collected over a period of about 15 months allowed to assess and model the effects of changing temperature on modal frequencies and to detect the occurrence of abnormal behavior and damage under the changing environment. The monitoring results demonstrate the potential key role of vibration-based structural health monitoring, implemented through low-cost hardware solutions and appropriate software tools, in the preventive conservation and the condition-based maintenance of historic towers. View Full-Text
Keywords: automated modal identification; continuous dynamic monitoring; earthquake; environmental effects; masonry towers automated modal identification; continuous dynamic monitoring; earthquake; environmental effects; masonry towers
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Saisi, A.; Guidobaldi, M.; Gentile, C. On Site Investigation and Health Monitoring of a Historic Tower in Mantua, Italy. Appl. Sci. 2016, 6, 173.

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