Fatigue Crack Monitoring under High-cycle Fatigue Loading Using Large-area Soft Elastomeric Capacitive Sensor

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2016-01-01
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Li, Jian
Kong, Xiangxiong
Collins, William
Bennett, Caroline
Laflamme, Simon
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Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation
Center for Nondestructive Evaluation

Begun in 1973, the Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation (QNDE) is the premier international NDE meeting designed to provide an interface between research and early engineering through the presentation of current ideas and results focused on facilitating a rapid transfer to engineering development.

This site provides free, public access to papers presented at the annual QNDE conference between 1983 and 1999, and abstracts for papers presented at the conference since 2001.

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Fatigue cracks under high-cycle fatigue loading due to normal traffic are one of the major damage modes of steel bridges. Monitoring these cracks is of great importance especially for fracture-critical bridges in order to ensure safe operation by preventing catastrophic failure due to excessive damage. A newly developed soft elastomeric capacitive (SEC) sensor [1] is able to monitor strain changes over a large area of structural surface and resist large deformation due to cracking without being damaged. To examine the feasibility of monitoring fatigue cracks under high-cycle fatigue loading using the SEC sensor, a compact tension specimen is tested under cyclic tension loads with varying load ranges (Fig. 1), which are designed to ensure realistic stress level, hence the size of crack opening, one would see in real bridges. The measured capacitance time history from the SEC sensor is converted into power spectral densities (PSD), such that the amplitude of the signal can be extracted at the dominant loading frequency. A crack damage indicator is proposed as the ratio between the amplitude of PSD and load range. Results show that the crack damage indicator offers consistent indication of crack growth (Fig. 2). A network of SEC sensors will be designed accordingly to monitor crack propagation in steel bridges based on the proposed crack damage indicator.

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