In this article, a new capsule-like smart aggregate (CSA) is developed and verified for impedance-based stress monitoring in a pre-determined frequency range of less than 100 kHz. The pros and cons of the existing smart aggregate models are discussed to define the requirement for the improved CSA model. The conceptual design and the impedance measurement model of the capsule-like smart aggregate (CSA) are demonstrated for concrete damage monitoring. In the model, the interaction between the CSA and the monitored structure is considered as the 2-degrees of freedom (2-DOF) impedance system. The mechanical and impedance responses of the CSA are described for two conditions: during concrete strength development and under compressive loadings. Next, the prototype of the CSA is designed for impedance-based monitoring in concrete structures. The local dynamic properties of the CSA are numerically simulated to pre-determine the sensitive frequency bands of the impedance signals. Numerical and experimental impedance analyses are performed to investigate the sensitivity of the CSA under compressive loadings. The changes in the impedance signals of the CSA induced by the compressive loadings are analyzed to assess the effect of loading directions on the performance of the CSA. Correlations between statistical impedance features and compressive stresses are also made to examine the feasibility of the CSA for stress quantification.
Keywords: PZT sensor; capsule-like; compressive loading; concrete damage; impedance response; smart aggregate; stress monitoring.