Determination of the Remaining Life of a Structural System Based on Acoustic Emission Signals

Description:

Reference #: 00879

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for this novel method of determining the life span of a structural system.

Potential Applications:

The model updating process can be applied in an almost real-time fashion for structural health monitoring applications.  Companies that perform inspection of structural systems should have strong interest in this invention (i.e. companies inspecting bridges for state DOTs).

Advantages and Benefits:

• The model can be continuously updated as new information becomes available, allowing a better prediction of the actual range of stress intensity.

• This technology allows structural crack forecasting.

Invention Description:

Traditionally, Acoustic Emission (AE) has been used to identify and locate cracks in structural systems made of steel and other materials.  Even though the study of AE emission is a well-developed field, most of the data processing is highly dependent on the experience of an analyst.  Dr. Caicedo’s proposed technique focuses on using AE data to identify a stress intensity range, which can be directly used for life prediction of structural systems. The computed stress intensity range based on the measured crack length was used to validate the crack growth forecast. 

This methodology has the potential to change the way structural systems – such as buildings, aircrafts, stadia, and tanks – are inspected for cracks. The methodology focuses on what to do with the AE signals once they have been collected using methods and sensors already available in industry.  The sampling methodology was carried out for a total of over 10 million samples. A large number of samples were needed because of the increase in complexity of the updating parameters joint probability distribution. However, because the equation that describes the stress intensity is relatively simple (polynomial) these calculations were performed under 4 hours using a distributed computing strategy using Condor and cores. This technique allows application of the model updating process in an almost real-time fashion for structural health monitoring applications.

 

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Determination of the Remaining Life of a Structural System Based on Acoustic Emission Signals Utility United States 13/370,664 9,581,570 2/10/2012 2/28/2017   Issued
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
technology@sc.edu
Inventors:
Juan Caicedo
Boris Zarate
Paul Ziehl
Peter Yu
Keywords:
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