Monitoring a sudden crack of beam-like bridge during earthquake excitation

Nguyen Viet Khoa


This paper presents a wavelet spectrum technique for monitoring a sudden crack of a beam-like bridge structure during earthquake excitation. When there is a sudden crack caused by earthquake excitation the stiffness of the structure is changed leading to a sudden change in natural frequencies during vibration. It is difficult to monitor this sudden change in the frequency using conventional approaches such as Fourier transform because in Fourier transform the time information is lost so that it is impossible to analyse short time events. To overcome this disadvantage, wavelet spectrum, a time-frequency analysis, is used for monitoring a sudden change in frequency duringearthquake excitation for crack detection. In this study, a model of 3D crack is applied. The derivation of the stiffness matrix of a 3D cracked beam element with rectangular section adopted from fracture mechanics is presented. Numerical results showed that the sudden occurrence of the crack during earthquake excitation can be detected by the sudden change in frequency using wavelet power spectrum. When the crack depth increases, the instantaneous frequency (IF) of the structure is decreased.


Earthquake; crack; crack monitoring; sudden crack; 3D crack; wavelet spectrum

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