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Open AccessArticle

Low-Cost Piezoelectric Sensors for Time Domain Load Monitoring of Metallic Structures During Operational and Maintenance Processes

1
Universidad de Zaragoza, Pedro Cerbuna 12, E-50009 Zaragoza, Spain
2
Industry and Transport Division, TECNALIA, Pº Mikeletegi 7, E-20009 Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(5), 1471; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20051471
Received: 9 January 2020 / Revised: 4 March 2020 / Accepted: 5 March 2020 / Published: 7 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
The versatility of piezoelectric sensors in measurement techniques and their performance in applications has given rise to an increased interest in their use for structural and manufacturing component monitoring. They enable wireless and sensor network solutions to be developed in order to directly integrate the sensors into machines, fixtures and tools. Piezoelectric sensors increasingly compete with strain-gauges due to their wide operational temperature range, load and strain sensing accuracy, low power consumption and low cost. This research sets out the use of piezoelectric sensors for real-time monitoring of mechanical strength in metallic structures in the ongoing operational control of machinery components. The behaviour of aluminium and steel structures under flexural strength was studied using piezoelectric sensors. Variations in structural behaviour and geometry were measured, and the load and μstrains during operational conditions were quantified in the time domain at a specific frequency. The lead zirconium titanate (PZT) sensors were able to distinguish between material types and thicknesses. Moreover, this work covers frequency selection and optimisation from 20 Hz to 300 kHz. Significant differences in terms of optimal operating frequencies and sensitivity were found in both structures. The influence of the PZT voltage applied was assessed to reduce power consumption without signal loss, and calibration to μstrains and loads was performed. View Full-Text
Keywords: piezoelectric smart sensor; real-time; optimal frequency; low power; load monitoring; electromechanical impedance; μstrains; sensing; smart structures; smart manufacturing piezoelectric smart sensor; real-time; optimal frequency; low power; load monitoring; electromechanical impedance; μstrains; sensing; smart structures; smart manufacturing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Perez-Alfaro, I.; Gil-Hernandez, D.; Muñoz-Navascues, O.; Casbas-Gimenez, J.; Sanchez-Catalan, J.C.; Murillo, N. Low-Cost Piezoelectric Sensors for Time Domain Load Monitoring of Metallic Structures During Operational and Maintenance Processes. Sensors 2020, 20, 1471.

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