Determination of the embedded lengths of electricity timber poles utilizing flexural wave generated from impacts

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Journal Article
Australian Journal of Structural Engineering, 2013, 14 (1), pp. 85 - 96
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Round timbers are extensively used as utility poles in Australia for electricity distribution and communication. Lack of information on their conditions results in great difficulties on asset management for industries. Despite the development of various non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques for evaluating the condition of piles, few NDTs are reported for applications on timber poles. This paper addresses challenges and issues on development of NDTs for condition assessment and embedded length of timber poles. For this paper, it is mainly focusing on determining the embedded length of the pole considering loss of the sufficient embedment length is a main factor compromising capacity and safety of timber poles. Since it is impractical for generating longitudinal waves by impacting from the top of poles, utilizing flexural wave from side impact on poles becomes attractive. However, the flexural wave is known by its highly dispersive nature. In this paper, one dimensional wave theory, guided wave theory and advanced signal processing techniques have been introduced in order to provide a solution for the problem. Two signal processing techniques, namely short kernel method and continuous wavelet transform, have been investigated for processing flexural wave signals to evaluate wave velocity and embedment length of timber poles in service. © Institution of Engineers Australia, 2013.
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