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Published March 2011 | Published
Conference Paper Open

A Method to Detect Structural Damage Using High-Frequency Seismograms

  • 1. ROR icon California Institute of Technology


A numerical study is performed to gain insight into applying a novel method to detect high-frequency dynamic failure in buildings. The method relies on prerecorded catalog of Green's functions for instrumented buildings. Structural failure during a seismic event is detected by screening continuous data for the presence of waveform similarities to each of the cataloged building responses. In the first part of this numerical study, an impulse-like force is applied to a beam column connection in a linear elastic steel frame. A time-reversed reciprocal method is used to demonstrate that the resulting simulated displacements can be used to determine the absolute time and location of the applied force. In the second part of the study, a steel frame's response to two loading cases, an impulse-like force and an opening crack tensile stress, is computed on a temporal scale of microseconds. Results indicate that the velocity waveform generated by a tensile crack can be approximated by the velocity waveform generated by an impulse-like force load applied at the proper location. These results support the idea of using a nondestructive impulse-like force (e.g. hammer blow) to characterize the building response to high-frequency dynamic failure (e.g. weld fracture).

Additional Information

The authors acknowledge support from the Hartley Foundation. The authors thank Brad Aagaard for the significant time and effort invested in making PyLith available.

Attached Files

Published - 2011_8CUEE_heckman_kohler_heaton.pdf


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