Impact identification on concrete panels using a surface-bonded smart piezoelectric module (SPM) system

Primary author: Ayumi Manawadu
Faculty sponsor: Pizhong Qiao

Primary college/unit: Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
Campus: Pullman


Structural damage assessment after a truck/barge collision is crucial to preserve the integrity of aging concrete bridges, even if there is no apparent damage on the surface. However, given the size of bridges, it would be expensive to analyze the whole structure at once. Therefore, the location and magnitude of the impact should be determined promptly to identify critical areas that require further damage assessment. Such systems help to determine timely corrective action to avoid catastrophic failure. Nevertheless, there is no in-situ cost-effective monitoring technique to carry out this task. Thus, wave-based piezoelectric sensor systems are a promising alternative for real-time impact detection of concrete structures.

Surface-bonded smart piezoelectric modules (SPM) are used to investigate the impact response on concrete panels regarding impact location, impact force, projectile mass, and projectile velocity. Theoretical models based on a spring-mass system and Reed’s model are developed and then validated using numerical and experimental investigations. The main parameters used in this approach are the time of flight and the amplitude of the propagating waves.

The method successfully determined the impact location and magnitude of impact, with an error of 6.40% and 2.73%, respectively. Further, the mass and velocity of the projectile were also successfully computed. Such an evaluation helps to prioritize impact events and to recognize more effective repair techniques. The results demonstrate that the surface-bonded SPMs provide a basis for the development of a cost-effective in-situ real-time non-destructive technique to analyze the impact-response of concrete members.