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logo SMC logo SMC  DYNA logo SMC  DYNA  SHM Modeling of embedded piezoelectric transducers for ultrasonic testing of concrete
   

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Arnaud Deraemaeker, Cédric Dumoulin

   
Keywords piezoelectricity, embedded transducers, ultrasonic testing, concrete, wave propagation
   

Motivation

At BATir-ULB, we have developped embedded piezoelectric transducers for ultrasonic testing of concrete. The technology is described in more details here.

Figure 1 : Embedded transducers for ultrasonic testing of concrete

In parallel, we are developing numerical models of the transducers embedded in concrete in order to improve their performance.

   

Finite element models

In order to study and improve the performance of our transducers, we have developped finite element models in the Structural Dynamics Toolbox using 3D coupled piezoelectric elements. In addition, specific elements (PML and VDB) are used to model the infinite media around the transducer. The three models developped are shown in Figure 2. They have been compated and shown to produce similar results.

Figure 2 : Finite element models of piezoelectric transducers embedded in concrete (infinite media)

   

Optimal transducers configuration

The modeling is aimed at optimizing the matching layer between the piezoelectric transducer and the concrete in order to improve their performance. A multi-objective genetic algorithm has been used for that purpose. Due to the high computational costs related to this type of algorithms, the model with the lowest number of degrees of freedom has been chose (cyclic symmetry and the VDB). The family of optimal solutions found is shown on Figure 3. New sensors will be fabricated based on these designs in order to test their performance.

 

Figure 3 : Optimal transducer configurations using a multi-objective optimization with a generic algorithm

   

Selected publications

[1] C. Dumoulin and A. Deraemaeker. Design of embedded piezoelectric transducers for structural health monitoring in concrete structures. In EWSHM 2016, Bilbao, Spain, July 2016