This paper presents a feasibility study for practical applications of an impedance-based real-time health monitoring technique applying PZT (Lead–Zirconate–Titanate) patches to concrete structures. First, comparison between experimental and analytical studies for damage detection on a plain concrete beam is made. In the experimental study, progressive surface damage inflicted artificially on the plain concrete beam is assessed by using both lateral and thickness modes of the PZT patches. Then, an analytical study based on finite element (FE) models is carried out to verify the validity of the experimental result. Secondly, multiple (shear and flexural) cracks incurred in a reinforced concrete (RC) beam under a third point bending test are monitored continuously by using a sensor array system composed of the PZT patches. In this study, a root mean square deviation (RMSD) in the impedance signatures of the PZT patches is used as a damage indicator.
ImpedancePZTStructural health monitoringMultiple crack detectionFinite element analysisConcrete structures