AN INTELLIGENT AND AUTONOMOUS SENSOR FOR MONITORING FATIGUE DAMAGE IN WELDED STEEL COMPONENTS

A sensor system is described that performs long- term monitoring of fatigue damage, experienced by load- bearing welded steel components such as bridge struts and vehicle suspension units. The device consists of a steel coupon containing a fatigue crack, which is permanently attached to the structure adjacent to a critical joint. Cyclic stresses induced in the coupon by the in-service loading on the structure cause the fatigue crack in the sensor to extend. Matching of the coupon to the structure by finite element analyses and fracture mechanics results in direct proportionality between the crack growth in the coupon and expended fatigue life of the target joint. Monitoring crack length therefore gives a measure of the fatigue damage accumulated by the structure, and allows predictions of remaining life. Crack growth is monitored and recorded by a battery- powered microcontroller system embedded within the sensor. The device also incorporates an infra-red communication system that allows data to be downloaded to a hand held data-logger by an inspection engineer. At the present time, power-management systems are being investigated to ensure long-term viability of the sensor system. (A) For the covering abstract see ITRD E118270.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    BRITISH INSTITUTE OF NON-DESTRUCTIVE TESTING

    1 SPENCER PARADE
    NORTHAMPTON,   United Kingdom  NN1 5AA
  • Authors:
    • GAYDECKI, P
    • FERANDES, B
    • BURDEKIN, M
  • Publication Date: 2002

Language

  • English

Media Info

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00962610
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-903132-30-3
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Sep 3 2003 12:00AM