Numerical investigation on guided wave-based damage identification and severity estimation of timber utility poles

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure, 2015
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Over the past decades, various non-destructive testing (NDT) methods have been applied for the damage detection and condition assessment of the timber poles. Among them, the guided wave (GW) based methods, which measure stress wave propagation in the poles, are often considered a simple and cost-effective tool which can be potentially used in practice. However, due to the lack of in-depth understanding on wave propagation in timber structures, these methods are generally based on over-simplified assumptions and therefore failed to provide the reliable results. In this paper, the studies on damage identification and severity estimation of timber utility poles were conducted based on the GW-based NDT method. First, wavelet packet energy and natural frequency features of the poles are extracted from the measured GW signals. Novel index was proposed based on such features to determine the damage type of the tested pole. Once damage type is determined, the corresponding models are adopted using the genetic algorithm to describe the relationship between damage severity and feature index. Finally, the numerical results of the timber poles with different damage types and severities are used to demonstrate the effectiveness and reliability of the proposed method.
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