Vibration-Based Damage Detection for Timber Structures in Australia

Nova Science Publishers
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Structural Health Monitoring in Australia, 2011, 1, pp. 81 - 108
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The use of non-destructive assessment techniques for evaluating structural conditions of aging infrastructure, such as timber bridges, utility poles and buildings, for the past 20 years has faced increasing challenges as a result of poor maintenance and inadequate funding. Replacement of structures, such as an old bridge, is neither viable nor sustainable in many circumstances. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop and utilize state-of-the-art techniques to assess and evaluate the "health state" of existing infrastructure and to be able to understand and quantify the effects of degradation with regard to public safety. This paper presents an overview of research work carried out by the authors in developing and implementing several vibration methods for evaluation of damage in timber bridges and utility poles. The technique of detecting damage involved the use of vibration methods, namely damage index method, which also incorporated artificial neural networks for timber bridges and time-hased non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods for timber utility poles. The projects involved successful numerical modeling and good experimental validation for the proposed vibration methods to detect damage for simple beams subjected to single and multiple damage scenarios and was then extended to a scaled timber bridge constructed under laboratory conditions. The time-based NDE methods also showed promising trends for detecting the embedded depth and condition of timber utility poles in early stages of that research.
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