The temperature stability of guided wave structural health monitoring systems

G Konstantinidis, BW Drinkwater, PD Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

213 Citations (Scopus)


It is desirable for any structural health monitoring (SHM) system to have maximum sensitivity with minimum sensor density. The structural health monitoring system described here is based on the excitation and reception of guided waves using piezoelectric elements as sensors. One of the main challenges faced is that in all but the most simple structures the wave interactions become too complex for the time domain signals to be interpreted directly. One approach to overcoming this complexity is to subtract a baseline reference signal from the measured system when it is known to be defect free. This strategy enables changes in the structure to be identified. Two key issues must be addressed to allow this paradigm to become a reality. First, the system must be sufficiently sensitive to small reflections from defects such as cracking. Second, it must be able to distinguish between benign changes and those due to structural defects. In this paper the baseline subtraction approach is used to detect defects in a simple rectangular plate. The system is shown to work well in the short term, and good sensitivity to defects is demonstrated. The performance degrades over the medium to long term. The principal reason for this degradation is shown to be the effect of change in temperature of the system. These effects are quantified and strategies for overcoming them are discussed.
Translated title of the contributionThe temperature stability of guided wave structural health monitoring systems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967 - 976
Number of pages10
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006

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