Structural damage detection using nonlinear vibrations

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Nonlinear vibrations emerging from damaged structures are suitable indicators for detecting defects. When a crack arises, its behavior could be approximated like a bilinear stiffness. According to this scheme, typical nonlinear phenomena as the presence of superharmonics in the dynamic response and the variation of the oscillation frequency in time emerge. These physical consequences give the opportunity to study damage detection procedures with relevant improvements with respect to the typical strategies based on linear vibrations, such as high sensitivity to small damages, no need for an accurate comparison model, and behavior not influenced by environmental conditions. This paper presents a methodology, which aims at finding suitable nonlinear phenomena for the damage detection of three contact-type damages in a panel representing a typical aeronautical structural component. At first, structural simulations are executed using MSC Nastran models and reduced dynamic models in MATLAB in order to highlight relevant nonlinear behaviors. Then, proper experimental tests are developed in order to look for the nonlinear phenomena identified: presence of superharmonics in the dynamic response and nonlinear behavior of the lower frequency of vibration, computed using the CWT (continuous wavelet transform). The proposed approach exhibits the possibility to detect and localize contact-type damages present in a realistic assembled structure.




Carminati, M., & Ricci, S. (2018). Structural damage detection using nonlinear vibrations. International Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 2018.

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