Damage detection in concrete precast slabs: a quick assessment through modal tests
1 Federal University of Paraíba, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 58051-900 João Pessoa, Brazil
2 University of Exeter, Vibration Engineering Section, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, UK
a Corresponding author: email@example.com
The use of modal tests for detecting damage in reinforced concrete precast slabs is evaluated. A set of eight slabs were tested, each belonging to flats constructed for residential use. Two groups of slabs were identified and, in each group, both cracked and uncracked slabs were found. This made it possible to compare the responses of the slabs when subjected to modal tests. The tests were carried out employing an instrumented hammer and heel drops as excitation sources. Responses were measured using an accelerometer. The lowest natural frequencies of the slabs could be identified and after filtering the results, plots indicating the variation of the lowest natural frequency versus the number of cycles of free decay were obtained for each slab. Such a plot is of more general use than the value of the natural frequency by itself, as it does not depend on slab configuration. It was observed that the cracked slabs presented a similar pattern of variation of the natural frequencies throughout the decay, being distinctive from the pattern observed for their uncracked counterparts. This provided evidence that a quick assessment of the structural condition of such slabs through the use of the tests were feasible.
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