A Study on Efficacy of Wavelet Transform for Damage Identification in Reinforced Concrete Buildings

  • Shiv Singh Patel
  • Ajay Chourasia
  • S. K. PanigrahiEmail author
  • S. K. Bhattacharyya
  • Jalaj Parashar
Original Paper



Structural damage and its extent can be detected by vibration-based techniques to avoid failure or to minimize maintenance. Among different damage identification techniques, modal curvature approaches are widely researched and applied one. On the contrary, wavelet transformation (WT) methods are gaining popularity in damage identification of real life buildings because of their suitability for non-stationary signals and non-dependency on baseline data. This paper presents a novel approach utilizing complex continuous wavelet to effectively locate change in physical properties of reinforced concrete (RC) buildings by virtue of variation in frequency and mode shapes due to small change in mass and stiffness.


In this paper, the effect of variation of mass and stiffness of a building on the modal parameters is established analytically using theequation of motion for a multi-degree freedom system under forced vibration condition. A 3-D finite element model was developed for predicting the modal frequencies and mode shapes of the scaled down six storey RC building and the effect of addition of mass on a particular level of structure on the modal parameters was studied. Further, acceleration time histories were recorded with variation in mass on 3rd story of building using wireless tri-axial accelerometers and the time histories were processed to arrive at Curvature Damage Factor and wavelet coefficients for identification of the additional load on the particular floor.


Vibration responses from all floors of RC building in ambient and loaded conditions were analyzed for frequency response spectra (FRS). Mode shapes were drawn for unloaded case and loaded cases. It was observed that the modal frequency of building decreases with the increase in mass at floors. It is observed that CDF approach could detect the change in mass in both numerical and experimental results. However, CDF algorithm could not detect the addition of load in case 1, 2 and 3, i.e. when load was less than 25 kg, i.e. only 2.6% of floor mass (960 kg). The acquired data for the above stated load cases were analyzed using complex Gaussian ‘cgau5’ wavelet in MATLAB toolbox to determine the singularity in the signal in terms of wavelet coefficient modulus. It is observed that the WT approach is able to precisely locate the change in physical parameters of the RC model building. However, it is seen that additional load could not be detected in case where only 9 kg, i.e. 0.93% of the total floor mass, was placed on 3rd floor.


From the research work, it is observed that CDF technique is inefficient in damage detection and always demand prior baseline information, which is usually difficult to obtain in practice. However, the wavelet transform-based approach more accurately detects the location of change without relying on intact state vibration data.


Wavelet transformation Damage identification Structural health monitoring Reinforced concrete building Signal processing Curvature damage factor 


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Copyright information

© Krishtel eMaging Solutions Private Limited 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiv Singh Patel
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ajay Chourasia
    • 1
  • S. K. Panigrahi
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. K. Bhattacharyya
    • 2
  • Jalaj Parashar
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIR-Central Building Research InstituteRoorkeeIndia
  2. 2.Indian Institute of Technology, KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  3. 3.Academy of Scientific and Innovative ResearchRoorkeeIndia

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