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Published April 8, 2008 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Highly Nonlinear Waves' Sensor Technology for Highway Infrastructures


This paper describes preliminary results towards the development of an innovative NDE/SHM scheme for material characterization and defect detection based on the generation of highly nonlinear solitary waves (HNSWs). HNSWs are stress waves that can form and travel in highly nonlinear systems (i.e. granular, layered, fibrous or porous materials) with a finite spatial dimension independent on the wave amplitude. Compared to conventional linear waves, the generation of HNSWs does not rely on the use of electronic equipment (such as an arbitrary function generator) and on the response of piezoelectric crystals or other transduction mechanism. HNSWs possess unique tunable properties that provide a complete control over tailoring: 1) the choice of the wave's width (spatial size) for defects investigation, 2) the composition of the excited train of waves (i.e. number and separation of the waves used for testing), and 3) their amplitude and velocity. HNSWs are excited onto concrete samples and steel rebar. The first pilot study of this ongoing effort between Caltech and the University of Pittsburgh is presented.

Additional Information

© 2008 SPIE. Chiara Daraio and Piervincenzo Rizzo acknowledge the support of Caltech and Pitt startup funds, respectively.

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