Detection and monitoring of flexural cracks in reinforced concrete beams using mounted smart aggregate transducers

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Journal Article
Smart Materials and Structures, 2017, 26 (10)
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© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd. Previous studies have successfully demonstrated the capability and reliability of the use of Smart Aggregate (SA) transducers to monitor reinforced concrete (RC) structures. However, they mainly focused on the applications of embedded SAs to new structural members, while no major attention was paid to the monitoring of existing RC members using externally mounted SAs. In this paper, a mounted SA-based approach is proposed for a real-time health monitoring of existing RC beams. The proposed approach is verified through monitoring of RC beams under flexural loading, on each of which SA transducers are mounted as an actuator and sensors. The experimental results show that the proposed SA-based approach effectively evaluates the cracking status of RC beams in terms of the peak of power spectral density and damage indexes obtained at multiple sensor locations. It is also shown that the proposed sensor system can also capture a precautionary signal for major cracking.
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