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A PZT-Based Electromechanical Impedance Method for Monitoring the Soil Freeze–Thaw Process

1,†, 2,3,*,†, 1 and 3,*
1
School of Urban Construction, Yangtze University, Jingzhou 434023, China
2
Key Laboratory of Transportation Tunnel Engineering, Ministry of Education, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China
3
Smart Material and Structure Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Co-First Authors Chuan Zhang and Jicheng Zhang contributed equally to this study.
Sensors 2019, 19(5), 1107; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19051107
Received: 26 January 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Piezoelectric Transducers and Applications)
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Abstract

It is important to conduct research on the soil freeze–thaw process because concurrent adverse effects always occur during this process and can cause serious damage to engineering structures. In this paper, the variation of the impedance signature and the stress wave signal at different temperatures was monitored by using Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) transducers through the electromechanical impedance (EMI) method and the active sensing method. Three piezoceramic-based smart aggregates were used in this research. Among them, two smart aggregates were used for the active sensing method, through which one works as an actuator to emit the stress wave signal and the other one works as a sensor to receive the signal. In addition, another smart aggregate was employed for the EMI testing, in which it serves as both an actuator and a receiver to monitor the impedance signature. The trend of the impedance signature with variation of the temperature during the soil freeze–thaw process was obtained. Moreover, the relationship between the energy index of the stress wave signal and the soil temperature was established based on wavelet packet energy analysis. The results demonstrate that the piezoceramic-based electromechanical impedance method is reliable for monitoring the soil freezing and thawing process. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT); smart aggregates; soil freeze–thaw process; electro-mechanical impedance (EMI) method Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT); smart aggregates; soil freeze–thaw process; electro-mechanical impedance (EMI) method
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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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Zhang, J.; Zhang, C.; Xiao, J.; Jiang, J. A PZT-Based Electromechanical Impedance Method for Monitoring the Soil Freeze–Thaw Process. Sensors 2019, 19, 1107.

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