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Piezoelectric Transducers Based Structural Health Monitoring

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2021) | Viewed by 24754

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
University of South Carolina, Columbia, United States
Interests: ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation; ultrasonic guided wave imaging; laser ultrasonics

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Guest Editor
University of Michigan–Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
Interests: structural health monitoring; nondestructrive evaluation; guided waves; ultrasonics; sensors and actuators
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Special Issue Information

Piezoelectric effects were first discovered more than a hundred years ago and, since then, have been widely used across various fields. Piezoelectric sensors and transducers are mostly made by piezoceramics and piezopolymers. The past two decades have seen tremendous advancements and interesting applications of these types of transducers. They have been largely used for strain measurement and high-frequency ultrasound applications for damage detection and structural health monitoring. Hence, we are organizing this Special Issue to highlight such achievements.
This Special Issue is dedicated to all types of piezoelectric sensors and transducers that are designed or applied for structural health monitoring, which fits with the scope of “Sensor Technology and Application” of the Sensors journal.

Prof. Lingyu Yu 
Prof. Yanfeng Shen
Prof. Victor Giurgiutiu

Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • piezoelectric
  • sensor
  • transducers
  • damage detection
  • structural health monitoring

Published Papers (10 papers)

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16 pages, 8035 KiB  
Article
Damage Localization in Composite Plates Using Wavelet Transform and 2-D Convolutional Neural Networks
by Guillermo Azuara, Mariano Ruiz and Eduardo Barrera
Sensors 2021, 21(17), 5825; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21175825 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2529
Abstract
Nondestructive evaluation of carbon fiber reinforced material structures has received special attention in the last decades. Usage of Ultrasonic Guided Waves (UGW), particularly Lamb waves, has become one of the most popular techniques for damage location, due to their sensitivity to defects, large [...] Read more.
Nondestructive evaluation of carbon fiber reinforced material structures has received special attention in the last decades. Usage of Ultrasonic Guided Waves (UGW), particularly Lamb waves, has become one of the most popular techniques for damage location, due to their sensitivity to defects, large range of inspection, and good propagation in several material types. However, extracting meaningful physical features from the response signals is challenging due to several factors, such as the multimodal nature of UGW, boundary conditions and the geometric shape of the structure, possible material anisotropies, and their environmental dependency. Neural networks (NN) are becoming a practical and accurate approach to analyzing the acquired data using data-driven methods. In this paper, a Convolutional-Neural-Network (CNN) is proposed to predict the distance-to-damage values from the signals corresponding to a transmitter-receiver path of transducers. The NN input is a 2D image (time-frequency) obtained as the Wavelet transform of the acquired experimental signals. The distances obtained with the NN are the input of a novel damage location algorithm which outputs a bidimensional image of the structure’s surface showing the estimated damage locations with a deviation of the actual position lower than 15 mm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers Based Structural Health Monitoring)
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19 pages, 5051 KiB  
Article
Performance of Linear Mixed Models to Assess the Effect of Sustained Loading and Variable Temperature on Concrete Beams Strengthened with NSM-FRP
by Ricardo Perera, Lluis Torres, Francisco J. Díaz, Cristina Barris and Marta Baena
Sensors 2021, 21(15), 5046; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21155046 - 26 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1741
Abstract
Although some extended studies about the short-term behavior of NSM FRP strengthened beams have been carried out, there is a lack of knowledge about the behavior of this kind of strengthening under sustained loads and high service temperatures. Electromechanical impedance method formulated from [...] Read more.
Although some extended studies about the short-term behavior of NSM FRP strengthened beams have been carried out, there is a lack of knowledge about the behavior of this kind of strengthening under sustained loads and high service temperatures. Electromechanical impedance method formulated from measurements obtained from PZT patches gives the ability for monitoring the performance and changes experienced by these strengthened beams at a local level, which is a key aspect considering its possible premature debonding failure modes. This paper presents an experimental testing program aimed at investigating the long-term performance of a concrete beam strengthened with a NSM CFRP laminate. Long term performance under different levels of sustained loading and temperature conditions is correlated with EMI signatures processed using Linear Mixed-effects models. These models are very powerful to process datasets that have a multilevel or hierarchical structure as those yielded by our tests. Results have demonstrated the potential of these techniques as health monitoring methodology under different conditions in an especially complex problem such as NSM-FRP strengthened concrete structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers Based Structural Health Monitoring)
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21 pages, 8284 KiB  
Article
A Local TR-MUSIC Algorithm for Damage Imaging of Aircraft Structures
by Shilei Fan, Aijia Zhang, Hu Sun and Fenglin Yun
Sensors 2021, 21(10), 3334; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21103334 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2269
Abstract
Lamb wave-based damage imaging is a promising technique for aircraft structural health monitoring, as enhancing the resolution of damage detection is a persistent challenge. In this paper, a damage imaging technique based on the Time Reversal-MUltiple SIgnal Classification (TR-MUSIC) algorithm is developed to [...] Read more.
Lamb wave-based damage imaging is a promising technique for aircraft structural health monitoring, as enhancing the resolution of damage detection is a persistent challenge. In this paper, a damage imaging technique based on the Time Reversal-MUltiple SIgnal Classification (TR-MUSIC) algorithm is developed to detect damage in plate-type structures. In the TR-MUSIC algorithm, a transfer matrix is first established by exciting and sensing signals. A TR operator is constructed for eigenvalue decomposition to divide the data space into signal and noise subspaces. The structural space spectrum of the algorithm is calculated based on the orthogonality of the two subspaces. A local TR-MUSIC algorithm is proposed to enhance the image quality of multiple damages by using a moving time window to establish the local space spectrum at different times or different distances. The multidamage detection capability of the proposed enhanced TR-MUSIC algorithm is verified by simulations and experiments. The results reveal that the local TR-MUSIC algorithm can not only effectively detect multiple damages in plate-type structures with good image quality but also has a superresolution ability for detecting damage with distances smaller than half the wavelength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers Based Structural Health Monitoring)
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20 pages, 2658 KiB  
Article
Crack Identification in Necked Double Shear Lugs by Means of the Electro-Mechanical Impedance Method
by Markus Winklberger, Christoph Kralovec, Christoph Humer, Peter Heftberger and Martin Schagerl
Sensors 2021, 21(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21010044 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2108
Abstract
This contribution investigates fatigue crack detection, localization and quantification in idealized necked double shear lugs using piezoelectric transducers attached to the lug shaft and analyzed by the electro-mechanical impedance (EMI) method. The considered idealized necked lug sample has a simplified geometry and does [...] Read more.
This contribution investigates fatigue crack detection, localization and quantification in idealized necked double shear lugs using piezoelectric transducers attached to the lug shaft and analyzed by the electro-mechanical impedance (EMI) method. The considered idealized necked lug sample has a simplified geometry and does not includes the typical bearing. Numerical simulations with coupled-field finite element (FE) models are used to study the frequency response behavior of necked lugs. These numerical analyses include both pristine and cracked lug models. Through-cracks are located at 90 and 145 to the lug axis, which are critical spots for damage initiation. The results of FE simulations with a crack location at 90 are validated with experiments using an impedance analyzer and a scanning laser Doppler vibrometer. For both experiments, the lug specimen is excited and measured using a piezoelectric active wafer sensor in a frequency range of 1 kHz to 100 kHz. The dynamic response of both numerical calculations and experimental measurements show good agreement. To identify (i.e., detect, locate, and quantify) cracks in necked lugs a two-step analysis is performed. In the first step, a crack is detected data-based by calculating damage metrics between pristine and damaged state frequency spectra and comparing the resulting values to a pre-defined threshold. In the second step the location and size of the detected crack is identified by evaluation of specific resonance frequency shifts of the necked lug. Both the search for frequencies sensitive to through-cracks that allow a distinction between the two critical locations and the evaluation of the crack size are model-based. This two-step analysis based on the EMI method is demonstrated experimentally at the considered idealized necked lug, and thus, represents a promising way to reliably detect, locate and quantify fatigue cracks at critical locations of real necked double shear lugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers Based Structural Health Monitoring)
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19 pages, 9268 KiB  
Article
Time Reverse Modeling of Damage Detection in Underwater Concrete Beams Using Piezoelectric Intelligent Modules
by Jiachen Liang, Bo Chen, Chenfei Shao, Jianming Li and Bangbin Wu
Sensors 2020, 20(24), 7318; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20247318 - 19 Dec 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2124
Abstract
Underwater cracks in concrete structures are often difficult to detect due to their complexity of the service environment. With numerical and experimental analysis of concrete beams immersed in water, an active monitoring system, based on a cement-based piezoelectric intelligent module array (CPIMA), was [...] Read more.
Underwater cracks in concrete structures are often difficult to detect due to their complexity of the service environment. With numerical and experimental analysis of concrete beams immersed in water, an active monitoring system, based on a cement-based piezoelectric intelligent module array (CPIMA), was developed to locate and quantify the underwater cracks. Time reversal (TR) of the stress wave field is accomplished to focus on the crack area through the concrete beam specimen by the system. First, a piezoelectric actuator is applied to emit the initial propagating wave, which can be reflected, attenuated, and diffracted by the crack, transmitted through water filled in the crack, as well as diffracted by the coarse aggregates. To extract the damage waveforms associated with the crack and analyze the robust time-reversal invariance under the high-order multiple scattering effect, a pair of homogeneous and heterogeneous forward finite element (FE) models is established. Then, the damage waveforms are time-reversed and re-propagated in the inverse numerical model, where an optimal refocusing is achieved on the crack that behaves as an acoustic source. Finally, the damage area is obtained in the form of the stacked energy distribution of each time step. The focus results are represented by cloud images and compared with root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) values. Numerical simulation and experiments show that this method can identify and quantify underwater cracks effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers Based Structural Health Monitoring)
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15 pages, 9500 KiB  
Article
Design of a Large-Scale Piezoelectric Transducer Network Layer and Its Reliability Verification for Space Structures
by Yuanqiang Ren, Jingya Tao and Zhaopeng Xue
Sensors 2020, 20(15), 4344; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20154344 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3116
Abstract
As an effective structural health monitoring (SHM) technology, the piezoelectric transducer (PZT) and guided wave-based monitoring methods have attracted growing interest in the space field. When facing the large-scale monitoring requirements of space structures, a lot of PZTs are needed and may cause [...] Read more.
As an effective structural health monitoring (SHM) technology, the piezoelectric transducer (PZT) and guided wave-based monitoring methods have attracted growing interest in the space field. When facing the large-scale monitoring requirements of space structures, a lot of PZTs are needed and may cause problems regarding to additional weight of connection cables, placement efficiency and performance consistency. The PZT layer is a promising solution against these problems. However, the current PZT layers still face challenges from large-scale lightweight monitoring and the lack of reliability assessment under extreme space service conditions. In this paper, a large-scale PZT network layer (LPNL) design method is proposed to overcome these challenges, by adopting a large-scale lightweight PZT network design method and network splitting–recombination based integration strategy. The developed LPNL offers the advantages of being large size, lightweight, ultra-thin, flexible, customized in shape and highly reliable. A series of extreme environmental tests are performed to verify the reliability of the developed LPNL under space service environment, including extreme temperature conditions, vibration at different flying phases, landing impact, and flying overload. Results show that the developed LPNL can withstand these harsh environmental conditions and presents high reliability and functionality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers Based Structural Health Monitoring)
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19 pages, 11873 KiB  
Article
Active Health Monitoring of Thick Composite Structures by Embedded and Surface-Mounted Piezo Diagnostic Layer
by Tianyi Feng, Dimitrios Bekas and M. H. Ferri Aliabadi
Sensors 2020, 20(12), 3410; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20123410 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2490
Abstract
An effective approach for an embedded piezo diagnostic layer into thick composite material is presented. The effectiveness of the approach is assessed in comparison to the surface-mounted layer. The proposed manufacturing alleviates difficulties associated with trimming edges of composites when embedding wires. The [...] Read more.
An effective approach for an embedded piezo diagnostic layer into thick composite material is presented. The effectiveness of the approach is assessed in comparison to the surface-mounted layer. The proposed manufacturing alleviates difficulties associated with trimming edges of composites when embedding wires. The Electro-Mechanical Impedance technique is used to access the integrity of the piezoelectric sensors bonding process. Comparisons of ultrasonic guided waves are made between embedded and surface-mounted diagnostic layers and their penetration through and across the thickness of the composites. Temperature influences with the range from −40 °C up to 80 °C on embedded and surface-mounted guided waves are investigated. An investigation is carried out into the relationship between amplitude and time-of-flight with temperature at different excitation frequencies. The temperature has significant but different effects on amplitude and phase-shift of guided waves for the embedded layer compared to the surface-mounted layer. A Laser Doppler Vibrometer is used to identify the blue tack and impact damage. Both embedded and surface-mounted layers are shown to be an effective means of generating detectable wave scatter from damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers Based Structural Health Monitoring)
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12 pages, 3158 KiB  
Article
Fatigue-Crack Detection and Monitoring through the Scattered-Wave Two-Dimensional Cross-Correlation Imaging Method Using Piezoelectric Transducers
by Wenfeng Xiao, Lingyu Yu, Roshan Joseph and Victor Giurgiutiu
Sensors 2020, 20(11), 3035; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20113035 - 27 May 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3358
Abstract
Piezoelectric transducers are convenient enablers for generating and receiving Lamb waves for damage detection. Fatigue cracks are one of the most common causes for the failure of metallic structures. Increasing emphasis on the integrity of critical structures creates an urgent need to monitor [...] Read more.
Piezoelectric transducers are convenient enablers for generating and receiving Lamb waves for damage detection. Fatigue cracks are one of the most common causes for the failure of metallic structures. Increasing emphasis on the integrity of critical structures creates an urgent need to monitor structures and to detect cracks at an early stage to prevent catastrophic failures. This paper presents a two-dimensional (2D) cross-correlation imaging technique that can not only detect a fatigue crack but can also precisely image the fatigue cracks in metallic structures. The imaging method was based on the cross-correlation algorithm that uses incident waves and the crack-scattered waves of all directions to generate the crack image. Fatigue testing for crack generation was then conducted in both an aluminum plate and a stainless-steel plate. Piezoelectric wafer transducer was used to actuate the interrogating Lamb wave. To obtain the scattered waves as well as the incident waves, a scanning laser Doppler vibrometer was adopted for acquiring time-space multidimensional wavefield, followed with frequency-wavenumber processing. The proof-of-concept study was conducted in an aluminum plate with a hairline fatigue crack. A frequency-wavenumber filtering method was used to obtain the incident wave and the scattered wave wavefields for the cross-correlation imaging. After this, the imaging method was applied to evaluate cracks on a stainless-steel plate generated during fatigue loading tests. The presented imaging method showed successful inspection and quantification results of the crack and its growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers Based Structural Health Monitoring)
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13 pages, 5106 KiB  
Letter
Brazing Coupling Performance of Piezoelectric Waveguide Transducers for the Monitoring of High Temperature Components
by Jiu Hong Jia, Ze Hou Wang, Dai Feng Yao and Shan-Tung Tu
Sensors 2021, 21(1), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21010094 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1804
Abstract
Piezoelectric waveguide transducers possess great potential for the online monitoring of high temperature critical components, in order to improve their operational safety. Due to the use of a waveguide bar, the sensory device is not susceptible to high temperature environments, which enables the [...] Read more.
Piezoelectric waveguide transducers possess great potential for the online monitoring of high temperature critical components, in order to improve their operational safety. Due to the use of a waveguide bar, the sensory device is not susceptible to high temperature environments, which enables the long-term service of the piezoelectric transducers. However, the coupling between the waveguide bar and the high-temperature component has been proven to be the most important part of the monitoring system. In order to effectively transmit waves through the junction of the waveguide bar and the monitoring target, it is necessary to research a reliable coupling method to connect the waveguide transducers with the host structure. In the present research, the feasibility of brazing coupling for wave propagation through the junction was investigated through experiments. Piezoelectric waveguide transducers were welded using various kinds of brazing filler metals. The experimental results indicate that the coupling effects of the brazing welding depend on the filler metals. At the same time, some filler metals for the effective coupling of the transducer and the target monitoring component were identified. The brazing coupling method was verified that it can non-dispersively and effectively propagate waves into the host structure with much better reliability than the conventional dry coupling approach. Moreover, the high-temperature experimental results show that the brazing-coupled waveguide bar system can work reliably and stably in high temperatures at 300 °C for a long time. This work strives to pave a solid foundation for the application of piezoelectric waveguide transducers for the structural health monitoring of high temperature critical components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers Based Structural Health Monitoring)
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14 pages, 5548 KiB  
Letter
A Closed-Form Method of Acoustic Emission Source Location for Velocity-Free System Using Complete TDOA Measurements
by Zilong Zhou, Yichao Rui, Xin Cai, Riyan Lan and Ruishan Cheng
Sensors 2020, 20(12), 3553; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20123553 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2187
Abstract
A closed-form method of acoustic emission (AE) source location for a velocity-free system using complete time difference of arrival (TDOA) measurements is proposed in this paper. First, this method established the governing equation of unknown acoustic velocity for each sensor; then, the governing [...] Read more.
A closed-form method of acoustic emission (AE) source location for a velocity-free system using complete time difference of arrival (TDOA) measurements is proposed in this paper. First, this method established the governing equation of unknown acoustic velocity for each sensor; then, the governing equations of each of the three sensors were transformed into a linear equation, which can form a system of linear equations with the complete TDOA measurements. Third, the least squares solutions of the AE source coordinate and acoustic velocity were separately solved by an orthogonal projection operator. The proposed method was verified by the pencil-lead break experiment, and the results showed that the location accuracy and stability of the proposed method were better than those of traditional methods. Moreover, a simulation test was carried out to investigate the influence of noise scales on the location accuracy, and the results further prove that the proposed method holds higher noise immunity than the traditional methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers Based Structural Health Monitoring)
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