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Research Papers

Structural health monitoring: From macro to micro, a progressively detailed assessment of structural performance and damage assessment for immediate response to lifetime analysis

Eimantas Poskus (supervised by Geoff Rogers and Geoff Chase) University of Canterbury  (EQC funded project 14/U679)

Non-Technical Abstract

The use of building instrumentation and seismic monitoring systems is increasing, both within New Zealand and worldwide. However, while these systems provide data from a building response, the challenge for engineers and researchers is to provide robust and reliable processing algorithms that are capable of interpreting this data to provide the building owners/tenants and the general public with meaningful information on building condition and damage assessment. The processing algorithms must also be robust so that they can be applied to a range of possible structures, from simple structures such as bridge piers that have simple response characteristics, to multi-level buildings with more complex response characteristics.

This project has built upon previously developed processing methods which take raw data from an instrumented building or bridge and turn that data into structural performance information, which can be interpreted by a building owner, tenant or engineer. While the processing methods were already proven for structures with a simple, single mode response, such as a bridge pier, they were not robust when applied to multi-level structures such as mid-rise or high-rise buildings. Therefore, the development of the methodology so that it can be applied to a far wider range of structures means that it can be of far more use to engineers and government agencies following an earthquake.

In developing these data processing methods, the output can be used following a large earthquake, providing an indication of the location and severity of damage within a building. Such guidance can be used by regulatory authorities to help assist with prioritisation of physical inspections and augment existing inspection methods to provide greater confidence in, and speed up, building closure or re-occupancy decisions.

This project has developed, extended and optimised the existing data processing methods, to apply to a wider range of structures. The methods have been validated using experimental data from full-scale bridge pier and building tests undertaken at some of the world largest earthquake test facilities at the University of California San Diego, eDefence earthquake test facilities in Japan, and Tongji University in Shanghai, China.

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