Locating fatigue damage using temporal signal features of nonlinear Lamb waves

Ming Hong, Zhongqing Su, Ye Lu, Hoon Sohn, Xinlin Qing

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


The temporal signal features of linear guided waves, as typified by the time-of-flight (ToF), have been exploited intensively for identifying damage, with proven effectiveness in locating gross damage in particular. Upon re-visiting the conventional, ToF-based detection philosophy, the present study extends the use of temporal signal processing to the realm of nonlinear Lamb waves, so as to reap the high sensitivity of nonlinear Lamb waves to small-scale damage (e.g., fatigue cracks), and the efficacy of temporal signal processing in locating damage. Nonlinear wave features (i.e., higher-order harmonics) are extracted using networked, miniaturized piezoelectric wafers, and reverted to the time domain for damage localization. The proposed approach circumvents the deficiencies of using Lamb wave features for evaluating undersized damage, which are either undiscernible in time-series analysis or lacking in temporal information in spectral analysis. A probabilistic imaging algorithm is introduced to supplement the approach, facilitating the presentation of identification results in an intuitive manner. Through numerical simulation and then experimental validation, two damage indices (DIs) are comparatively constructed, based, respectively, on linear and nonlinear temporal features of Lamb waves, and used to locate fatigue damage near a rivet hole of an aluminum plate. Results corroborate the feasibility and effectiveness of using temporal signal features of nonlinear Lamb waves to locate small-scale fatigue damage, with enhanced accuracy compared with linear ToF-based detection. Taking a step further, a synthesized detection strategy is formulated by amalgamating the two DIs, targeting continuous and adaptive monitoring of damage from its onset to macroscopic formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-197
Number of pages16
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Fatigue damage
  • Nonlinear Lamb waves
  • Signal processing
  • Sparse sensor network
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Temporal signal features

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications

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