Detection of cracks in simply-supported beams by continuous wavelet transform of reconstructed modal data

Shuncong Zhong, S. Olutunde Oyadiji

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This paper proposes a new approach for damage detection in beam-like structures with small cracks, whose crack ratio [r = Hc/H] is less than 5%, without baseline modal parameters. The approach is based on the difference of the continuous wavelet transforms (CWTs) of two sets of mode shape data which correspond to the left half and the right half of the modal data of a cracked simply-supported beam. The mode shape data of a cracked beam are apparently smooth curves, but actually exhibit local peaks or discontinuities in the region of damage because they include additional response due to the cracks. The modal responses of the damaged simply-supported beams used are computed using the finite element method. The results demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed method for crack detection, and they provide a better crack indicator than the result of the CWT of the original mode shape data. The effects of crack location and sampling interval are examined. The simulated and experimental results show that the proposed method has great potential in crack detection of beam-like structures as it does not require the modal parameter of an uncracked beam as a baseline for crack detection. It can be recommended for real applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-148
Number of pages22
JournalComputers and Structures
Issue number1-2
Early online date28 Sep 2010
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • beams
  • continuous wavelet transfom
  • crack detection
  • damage detection
  • modal data
  • beam-like structures
  • crack location
  • simply supported beams

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