Distributed Cable Sensors with Memory Feature for Post-Disaster Damage Assessment


A new design of distributed crack sensors is presented for the condition assessment of reinforced concrete (RC) structures during and immediately after an earthquake event. This study is mainly focused on the performance of cable sensors under dynamic loading, particularly their ability to memorize the crack history of an RC member. This unique memory 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 they are visually undetectable. Factors affecting the onset of the memory 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 were discussed. The sensors were proven to be fatigue resistant from the shake table tests of RC columns. They continued to show useful signal after the columns can no longer support additional loads.

Meeting Name

Nondestructive Evaluation for Health Monitoring and Diagnostics (2005: Mar. 8-10, San Diego, CA)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Second Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Beams and Girders; Cracks; Earthquake Effects; Nondestructive Examination; Reinforced Concrete; Structural Loads; Crack Detection and Localization; Cyclic Loading; Post-disaster Condition Assessment; Shake Table Tests; Sensors; Nondestructive Testing

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2005 SPIE -- The International Society for Optical Engineering, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2005