Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Engineering, Mechanical Engineering


Recent advancements in sensors and information technologies have resulted in new methods for structural health monitoring (SHM) of the performance and deterioration of structures. The enabling element is the piezoelectric wafer active sensor (PWAS). This paper presents an introduction to PWAS transducers and their applications in Lamb wave-based SHM. We begin by reviewing the fundamentals of piezoelectric intelligent materials. Then, the mechanism of using PWAS transducers as Lamb wave transmitters and receivers is presented. PWAS interact with the host structure through the shear-lag model. Lamb wave mode tuning can be achieved by judicious combination of PWAS dimensions, frequency value, and Lamb mode characteristics. Finally, use of PWAS Lamb wave SHM for damage detection on plate-like aluminum structures is addressed. Examples of using PWAS phased array scanning, quantitative crack detection with array imaging, and quantitative corrosion detection are given.