Effect of environmental conditions on the modal response of a 10-story reinforced concrete tower

Regni, Marco and Arezzo, Davide and Carbonari, Sandro and Gara, Fabrizio and Zonta, Daniele (2018) Effect of environmental conditions on the modal response of a 10-story reinforced concrete tower. Shock and Vibration, 2018. 9476146. ISSN 1875-9203 (https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/9476146)

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We analyse the effect of temperature and wind velocity on the natural frequencies and modal damping ratios of the Faculty of Engineering Tower at the Università Politecnica delle Marche, a 10-story reinforced concrete frame building, permanently monitored with low-noise accelerometers. The data recorded over the first 5 months of monitoring demonstrate that temperature variations and wind intensity have a clear effect on the first three natural frequencies and the corresponding damping ratios. Temperature is positively correlated to the first and second frequencies, corresponding to shear displacement modes and negatively correlated to the third frequency, corresponding to a torsional mode. All frequencies are positively correlated to wind velocity and changes in damping ratios are inversely correlated to any change in frequency. A mechanical explanation of these phenomena is offered, based on a critical review of literature case studies. These results suggest that using changes in modal parameters for damage detection always requires accurate knowledge of the correlation between modal parameters and environmental quantities (temperature, humidity, and wind velocity), an information which is only available through long-term continuous monitoring of the structural response.