Immunity of the second harmonic shear horizontal waves to adhesive nonlinearity for breathing crack detection

Fuzhen Wen, Shengbo Shan, Li Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


High-order harmonic guided waves are sensitive to micro-scale damage in thin-walled structures, thus, conducive to its early detection. In typical autonomous structural health monitoring (SHM) systems activated by surface-bonded piezoelectric wafer transducers, adhesive nonlinearity (AN) is a non-negligible adverse nonlinear source that can overwhelm the damage-induced nonlinear signals and jeopardize the diagnosis if not adequately mitigated. This paper first establishes that the second harmonic shear horizontal (second SH) waves are immune to AN while exhibiting strong sensitivity to cracks in a plate. Capitalizing on this feature, the feasibility of using second SH waves for crack detection is investigated. Finite element (FE) simulations are conducted to shed light on the physical mechanism governing the second SH wave generation and their interaction with the contact acoustic nonlinearity (CAN). Theoretical and numerical results are validated by experiments in which the level of the AN is tactically adjusted. Results show that the commonly used second harmonic S0 (second S0) mode Lamb waves are prone to AN variation. By contrast, the second SH0 waves show high robustness to the same degree of AN changes while preserving a reasonable sensitivity to breathing cracks, demonstrating their superiority for SHM applications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStructural Health Monitoring
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • adhesive nonlinearity
  • contract acoustic nonlinearity
  • experimental study
  • second harmonics
  • Shear horizontal waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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