A new approach is presented for investigating the dispersive character of structural waves. The wavelet transform is applied to the time-frequency analysis of dispersive waves. The flexural wave induced in a beam by lateral impact is considered. It is shown that the wavelet transform using the Gabor wavelet effectively decomposes the strain response into its time-frequency components. In addition, the peaks of the time-frequency distribution indicate the arrival times of waves. By utilizing this fact, the dispersion relation of the group velocity can be accurately identified for a wide range of frequencies.

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