Detecting Structural Defects Using Novel Smart Sensory and Sensor-less Approaches Dissertation

(2017). Detecting Structural Defects Using Novel Smart Sensory and Sensor-less Approaches . 10.25148/etd.FIDC004006

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Baghalian, Amin


  • Monitoring the mechanical integrity of critical structures is extremely important, as mechanical defects can potentially have adverse impacts on their safe operability throughout their service life. Structural defects can be detected by using active structural health monitoring (SHM) approaches, in which a given structure is excited with harmonic mechanical waves generated by actuators. The response of the structure is then collected using sensor(s) and is analyzed for possible defects, with various active SHM approaches available for analyzing the response of a structure to single- or multi-frequency harmonic excitations. In order to identify the appropriate excitation frequency, however, the majority of such methods require a priori knowledge of the characteristics of the defects under consideration. This makes the whole enterprise of detecting structural defects logically circular, as there is usually limited a priori information about the characteristics and the locations of defects that are yet to be detected. Furthermore, the majority of SHM techniques rely on sensors for response collection, with the very same sensors also prone to structural damage. The Surface Response to Excitation (SuRE) method is a broadband frequency method that has high sensitivity to different types of defects, but it requires a baseline. In this study, initially, theoretical justification was provided for the validity of the SuRE method and it was implemented for detection of internal and external defects in pipes. Then, the Comprehensive Heterodyne Effect Based Inspection (CHEBI) method was developed based on the SuRE method to eliminate the need for any baseline. Unlike traditional approaches, the CHEBI method requires no a priori knowledge of defect characteristics for the selection of the excitation frequency. In addition, the proposed heterodyne effect-based approach constitutes the very first sensor-less smart monitoring technique, in which the emergence of mechanical defect(s) triggers an audible alarm in the structure with the defect. Finally, a novel compact phased array (CPA) method was developed for locating defects using only three transducers. The CPA approach provides an image of most probable defected areas in the structure in three steps. The techniques developed in this study were used to detect and/or locate different types of mechanical damages in structures with various geometries.

publication date

  • October 17, 2017


  • Beam Forming
  • Crack Detection
  • Defect Detection
  • Guided Waves
  • Heterodyning Effect
  • Loose Bolt Detection
  • Monitoring of Pipes
  • NWMS
  • Nonlinear Guided Waves
  • Nonlinear Wave Modulation Spectroscopy
  • Phased Array
  • SHM
  • SSHM
  • Sensor-free SHM
  • Sensor-less SHM
  • Structural Health Monitoring
  • SuRE
  • Surface Response to Excitation

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)