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Wireless surface acoustic wave sensors for displacement and crack monitoring in concrete structures

Perry, M and McKeeman, I and Saafi, M and Niewczas, P (2016) Wireless surface acoustic wave sensors for displacement and crack monitoring in concrete structures. Smart Materials and Structures, 25 (3). ISSN 0964-1726

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Abstract

In this work, we demonstrate that wireless surface acoustic wave devices can be used to monitor millimetre displacements in crack opening during the cyclic and static loading of reinforced concrete structures. Sensors were packaged to extend their gauge length and to protect them against brittle fracture, before being surface-mounted onto the tensioned surface of a concrete beam. The accuracy of measurements was verified using computational methods and opticalfibre strain sensors. After packaging, the displacement and temperature resolutions of the surface acoustic wave sensors were 10 μm and 2°C respectively. With some further work, these devices could be retrofitted to existing concrete structures to facilitate wireless structural health monitoring.