Design health monitoring of mechanical dynamic structures

Robert S. Ballinger, David W. Herrin

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This research combines analytical and experimental modal analysis techniques to verify the structural integrity or monitor the 'health' of a dynamic structure. Central to the procedure is the development of a baseline dynamic fingerprint model of the structure. The dynamic fingerprint is verified with experimental modal analysis and correlation. After the structure is placed into service, damage can be determined by comparing the current dynamic response with the baseline dynamic fingerprint response. The unique aspect of this procedure is that the current dynamic response is enforced on the undamaged baseline dynamic fingerprint model. Should damage exist, the structure is forced to deform in an unnatural manner, and high strain energy results. Significant differences in the normalized modal or operating strain energy density identify structural regions where a loss of stiffness, weakening of the structure, and/or damage has occurred. This identification of a potentially 'unhealthy' structural region allows a quick visual inspection of the region or further analytical and/or experimental submodelling of the area to precisely identify the damage. The method is ideally suited to CAE application. The method is demonstrated analytically and experimentally for two structures: an eight-bay cantilevered truss structure and a rectangular plate with various boundary conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-252
Number of pages8
JournalInstitute of Environmental Sciences - Proceedings, Annual Technical Meeting
StatePublished - 1995
EventProceedings of the 41st Annual Technical Meeting of the Institute of Environmental Sciences - Anaheim, CA, USA
Duration: Apr 30 1995May 5 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering


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