Abstract

Steel structures with bolted joints are easily dismantled and repurposed. However, maintaining joint integrity is a challenge. This paper reports a non-destructive methodology to monitor steel bolted joints. Piezoelectric ceramic patches have been surface bonded in the joint for transmission and reception of guided ultrasonic waves. Both single and multiple bolted joints have been investigated. It has been demonstrated that the variation in acoustic impedance due at the bolt interface can be discerned and calibrated with bolt torque level. The recorded reflections from interfaces are used as inputs for a newly developed imaging algorithm. The proposed method has the potential to be a reference-free and fully automated method.

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