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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 8, Number 4, October 2011 , pages 385-398

Health monitoring of reinforced concrete slabs subjected to earthquake-type dynamic loading via measurement and analysis of acoustic emission signals
Antolino Gallego, Amadeo Benavent-Climent and Cristobal Infantes

    This paper discusses the applicability of Acoustic Emission (AE) to assess the damage in reinforced concrete (RC) structures subjected to complex dynamic loadings such as those induced by earthquakes. The AE signals recorded during this type of event can be complicated due to the arbitrary and random nature of seismicity and the fact that the signals are highly contaminated by many spurious sources of noise. This paper demonstrates that by properly filtering the AE signals, a very good correlation can be found between AE and damage on the RC structure. The basic experimental data used for this research are the results of fourteen seismic simulations conducted with a shake table on an RC slab supported on four steel columns. The AE signals were recorded by several low-frequency piezoelectric sensors located on the bottom surface of the slab. The evolution of damage under increasing values of peak acceleration applied to the shake table was monitored in terms of AE and dissipated plastic strain energy. A strong correlation was found between the energy dissipated by the concrete through plastic deformations and the AE energy calculated after properly filtering the signals. For this reason, a procedure is proposed to analyze the AE measured in a RC structure during a seismic event so that it can be used for damage assessment.
Key Words
    acoustic emission; damage evaluation; reinforced concrete; slab; seismic loads.
Antolino Gallego and Cristobal Infantes : Department of Applied Physics, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
Amadeo Benavent-Climent : Department of Mechanics of Structures, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain

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