PCA Based Stress Monitoring of Cylindrical Specimens Using PZTs and Guided Waves

Sensors (Basel). 2017 Dec 1;17(12):2788. doi: 10.3390/s17122788.


Since mechanical stress in structures affects issues such as strength, expected operational life and dimensional stability, a continuous stress monitoring scheme is necessary for a complete integrity assessment. Consequently, this paper proposes a stress monitoring scheme for cylindrical specimens, which are widely used in structures such as pipelines, wind turbines or bridges. The approach consists of tracking guided wave variations due to load changes, by comparing wave statistical patterns via Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Each load scenario is projected to the PCA space by means of a baseline model and represented using the Q-statistical indices. Experimental validation of the proposed methodology is conducted on two specimens: (i) a 12.7 mm ( 1 / 2 " ) diameter, 0.4 m length, AISI 1020 steel rod, and (ii) a 25.4 mm ( 1 " ) diameter, 6m length, schedule 40, A-106, hollow cylinder. Specimen 1 was subjected to axial loads, meanwhile specimen 2 to flexion. In both cases, simultaneous longitudinal and flexural guided waves were generated via piezoelectric devices (PZTs) in a pitch-catch configuration. Experimental results show the feasibility of the approach and its potential use as in-situ continuous stress monitoring application.

Keywords: acoustoelasticity; cylindrical waveguide; guided waves; piezoelectrics; statistical analysis; stress monitoring.