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Structural Monitoring and Maintenance
  Volume 2, Number 2, June 2015 , pages 165-180

Damage detection of reinforced concrete columns retrofitted with FRP jackets by using PZT sensors
Efi A. Tzoura, Thanasis C. Triantafillou, Costas Providakis, Aristomenis Tsantilis, Corina G. Papanicolaou and Dimitris L. Karabalis

    In this paper lead zirconate titanate transducers (PZT) are employed for damage detection of four reinforced concrete (RC) column specimens retrofitted with carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) jackets. A major disadvantage of FRP jacketing in RC members is the inability to inspect visually if the concrete substrate is damaged and in such case to estimate the extent of damage. The parameter measured during uniaxial compression tests at random times for known strain values is the real part of the complex number of the Electromechanical Admittance (Conductance) of the sensors, obtained by a PXI platform. The transducers are placed in specific positions along the height of the columns for detecting the damage in different positions and carrying out conclusions for the variation of the Conductance in relation to the position the failure occurred. The quantification of the damage at the concrete substrate is achieved with the use of the root-mean-square-deviation (RMSD) index, which is evaluated for the corresponding strain values. The experimental results provide evidence that PZT transducers are sensitive to damage detection from an early stage of the experiment and that the use of PZT sensors for monitoring and detecting the damage of FRP-retrofitted reinforced concrete members, by using the Electromechanical Admittance (EMA) approach, can be a highly promising method.
Key Words
    damage detection; electromechanical admittance; FRP jackets; PZT transducers; reinforced concrete
Efi A. Tzoura, Thanasis C. Triantafillou, Aristomenis Tsantilis, Corina G. Papanicolaou1d and Dimitris L. Karabalis: Department of Civil Engineering, University of Patras, GR-26500 Patras, Greece
Costas Providakis: Department of Architectural Engineering, Technical University of Crete, GR-73100 Chania, Greece

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