Structure health monitoring (SHM) using ultrasonic waves is an emerging technology that can be applied to real-time detect, locate and quantify the structural damages in aircraft structures. In this paper, the monitoring of crack growth at rivet holes in an aluminum test plate using a PZT transducer network and Lamb waves is investigated. The thin disc PZT transducers surface mounted at the test plate are used as actuators to transmit the windowed sinewave bursts and sensors to receive the ultrasonic Lamb waves. The symmetrical S0 mode and antisymmetrical A0 mode of the Lamb waves in the structures are studied with correlated theoretical, experimental and numerical analysis. The optimal excitation frequency is determined for the test plate. Finite element method (FEM) numerical models for simulations of the wave propagations and interactions with the holes and cracks in the plate are developed and verified with the experimental results. The wave responses modes and characteristics for detection of the cracks at the rivet holes are analyzed. The Lamb wave signals in the PZT transducer network are processed with the short time Fourier transform (STFT). It is demonstrated that the time of flight and the energy transmission ratio of the S0 wave are sensitive to the cracks in the structure.

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