Distributed Crack Sensors Featuring Unique Memory Capability for Post-Earthquake Condition Assessment of RC Structures


A new design of distributed crack sensors based on the topological change of transmission line cables is presented for the condition assessment of reinforced concrete (RC) structures during and immediately after an earthquake event. This study is primarily focused on the performance of cable sensors under dynamic loading, particularly a feature that allows for some "memory" of the crack history of an RC member. This feature enables the post-earthquake condition assessment of structural members such as RC columns, in which the earthquake-induced cracks are closed immediately after an earthquake event due to gravity loads, and are visually undetectable. Factors affecting the onset of the feature were investigated experimentally with small-scale RC beams under cyclic loading. Test results indicated that both crack width and the number of loading cycles were instrumental in the onset of the memory feature of cable sensors. Practical issues related to dynamic acquisition with the sensors are discussed. The sensors were proven to be fatigue resistant from shake table tests of RC columns. The sensors continued to show useful performance after the columns can no longer support additional loads.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Second Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Crack Detection and Localization; Post-Disaster Condition Assessment; Sensors; Shake Table Tests; Nondestructive testing

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2005 Techno-Press, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2005