AuthorKumar Yadav, Susheel
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractLarge civil infrastructure systems all over the world have become an integral part of our civilization. The inspection and maintenance of these structures for public safety is a difficult task. The assessment of integrity of such huge structures due to local damages is even more difficult to deal with. The conventional inspections are performed manually, generally by visual examination and sometimes by more advanced techniques like ultrasonic, electromagnetic and fiber optic techniques. These inspections involve human interventions, depend on individual inspector's experience, and are time consuming. Such inspection methods may not be very useful for real time health assessment of a structure in service and as a result are not very helpful in preventing any disastrous situation through early warning. Therefore, it is very important to look for a comprehensive strategy of global integrity monitoring infused with information about local damages in the structure. For local damage assessment the current state of the health monitoring technology lacks a generalized and definitive approach to the identification and localization of damage. In past decades several signal processing tools have been used for solving different health monitoring problems but the commutability of the tools between different problems has been restricted. Fundamental reasons for this shortcoming have never been investigated in detail. In this dissertation an investigation has been carried out employing almost all promising feature extraction tools on a representative problem - a plate with rivet holes. The problem considered has radial cracks around rivet holes in a joint panel of a steel truss bridge. Such defects are very difficult to detect. Although well established, Lamb wave based nondestructive evaluation techniques are revisited and new tools are developed to address this issue. Simulation of the scattered ultrasonic wave field is carried out using the finite element method. This ultrasonic wave field is further analyzed to evaluate the integrity of the structure using various feature extraction (FE) techniques. Joint time-frequency-energy representation is obtained from ultrasonic signals recorded at various locations on the plate (joint panel) and used to extract damage sensitive features. Those features were then used to formulate a new Damage Parameter (DP) for better visualization of the crack. Results are shown to demonstrate the comparative effectiveness of these techniques. It is concluded that any particular FE technique cannot detect all possible sizes and orientations of the crack. It is suggested that the statistical occurrence and pattern of the crack must be visualized through a few selective FE techniques in a sequence. Modeling of the wave scattering phenomenon by conventional numerical techniques such as finite element method requires very fine mesh at high frequencies necessitating heavy computational power. Distributed point source method (DPSM) which is a recently developed semi-analytical technique, is applied to model the scattering of ultrasonic wave field on representative problem geometries and the results are used to diagnose structural damages. DPSM is a newly developed robust mesh-free technique for simulating ultrasonic, electrostatic and electromagnetic field problems. In most of the previous studies the DPSM technique has been applied to model two dimensional surface geometries and relatively simple three dimensional scatterer geometries. It has been very difficult to perform the wave scattering analysis for very complex three-dimensional geometries. This technique has been extended to model wave scattering in an arbitrary geometry. The simulation has been carried out with and without the presence of cracks near the rivet holes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College