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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 24, Number 3, September 2019, pages 293-301

Detection and location of bolt group looseness using ultrasonic guided wave
Yue Zhang, Dongsheng Li and Xutao Zheng

     Bolted joints are commonly used in civil infrastructure and mechanical assembly structures. Monitoring and identifying the connection status of bolts is the frontier problem of structural research. The existing research is mainly on the looseness of a single bolt. This article presents a study of assessing the loosening/tightening health state and identifying the loose bolt by using ultrasonic guided wave in a bolt group joint. A bolt-tightening index was proposed for evaluating the looseness of a bolt connection based on correlation coefficient. The tightening/loosening state of the bolt was simulated by changing the bolt torque. More than 180 different measurement tests for total of six bolts were conducted. The results showed that with the bolt torque increases, value of the proposed bolt-tightening index increases. The proposed bolt-tightening index trend was very well reproduced by an analytical expression using a function of the torque applied with an overall percentage error lower than 5%. The developed damage index based on the proposed bolt-tightening index can also be applied to locate the loosest bolt in a bolt group joint. To verify the effectiveness of the proposed method, a bolt group joint experiment with different positions of bolt looseness was performed. Experimental results show that the proposed approach is effective to detect and locate bolt looseness and has a good prospect of finding applications in real-time structural monitoring.
Key Words
    bolt looseness; ultrasonic guided wave; correlation coefficients; structural health monitoring
Yue Zhang, Dongsheng Li and Xutao Zheng: School of Civil Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China

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