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Highly sensitive, real-time structural monitoring (Technion)
code: MAE-0862

Background:
Our technology deals with non-destructive monitoring of plate and tube based structures. Traditional testing methods employ X-ray or ultrasound imaging of each part, and usually require disassembly of the structure. Today's most advanced Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) methods do not require disassembly - sensors are embedded in the plates themselves. In SHM, structural members are used as 'wave guides' to transport vibrations. The spectral properties of the structure are then used to derive structural properties, such as the condition of joints and rivets. But SHM methods suffer from low sensitivity to small, local deformations, and may not identify structural degradation in its early stages. Moreover, when vibrations pass from one plate to another, effects at the point of contact add uncertainty to the model and increase its vulnerability to noise. Even when damage is found, these uncertainties make it difficult to pinpoint the exact location, demanding additional testing in some cases. These disadvantages make SHM unsatisfactory for many applications. 

 

Method:
Our technology improves the sensitivity of SHM sensors by analyzing ’end effects’ which are traditionally considered unusable. End effects occur when waves bounce off the end of a structural member or joint. The reflected waves include rapidly - decaying components, which have unique spectral properties. These are used to generate a 'signature', or structural marker, for every joint. When reflected off joints and rivets, this signature is highly sensitive to small deformations in the joint, and allows detection of damage at early stages. Derivation of damage progress over time allows accurate assessment of the life-time of structural members, thus improving reliability.

 

Advantages:
• No downtime – monitoring is preformed during normal operation, such as in-flight
• Higher sensitivity to damage and deformations at early creation stages
• Cost effective - easily integrated into existing SHM sensors and data acquisition equipment
• Sharper identification of the exact location of the damage
• Self calibration capabilities enable high durability to temperature and external load variation

 

Applications:
Aircraft and aerospace, ships and naval structures, reactors, pipelines, large metal structures such as bridges and high-rise buildings
 

 

Technological Keywords: evanescent, lamb, waves, vibration, SHM, X-ray, ultrasound, spectrum, rivet, joint, deformation, damage, prognosis, bolts, cracks
Market Keywords: damage, structure, monitoring, wear, non, destructive, testing

Contact for more information:
Inbal Lev , +972-4-829-4853
T³ - Technion Technology Transfer
Technion City, Senate Bldg., Haifa 32000, Israel
Tel. 972-4-829-4851; 972-8325-375
Fax. 972-4-832-0845
ITTN - Israel Tech Transfer Organization