Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Victor Giurgiutiu


The dissertation addresses structural health monitoring (SHM) techniques using ultrasonic waves generated by piezoelectric wafer active sensors (PWAS) with an emphasis on the development of theoretical models of standing harmonic waves and guided waves. The focal objective of the research is to extend the theoretical study of electro-mechanical coupled PWAS as a resonator/transducer that interacts with standing and traveling waves in various media through electro-mechanical impedance spectroscopy (EMIS) method and guided wave propagation. The analytical models are developed and the coupled field finite element analysis (CF-FEA) models are simulated and verified with experiments. The dissertation is divided into two parts with respect to the developments in EMIS methods and GWP methods. In the first part, analytical and finite element models have been developed for the simulation of PWAS-EMIS in in-plane (longitudinal) and out-of-plane (thickness) mode. Temperature effects on free PWAS-EMIS are also discussed with respect to the in-plane mode. Piezoelectric material degradation on certain electrical and mechanical properties as the temperature increases is simulated by our analytical model for in-plane circular PWAS-EMIS that agrees well with the sets of experiments. Then the thickness mode PWAS-EMIS model was further developed for a PWAS resonator bonded on a plate-like structure. The latter analytical model was to determine the resonance frequencies for the normal mode expansion method through the global matrix method by considering PWAS-substrate and proof mass-PWAS-substrate models. The proof mass concept was adapted to shift the systems resonance frequencies in thickness mode. PWAS in contact with liquid medium on one of its surface has been analytically modeled and simulated the electro-mechanical response of PWAS with various liquids with different material properties such as the density and the viscosity. The second part discusses the guided wave propagation in elastic structures. The feature guided waves in thick structures and in high frequency range are discussed considering weld guided quasi-Rayleigh waves. Furthermore, the weld guided quasi Rayleigh waves and their interaction with damages in thick plates and thick walled pipes are examined by the finite element models and experiments. The dissertation finishes with a summary of contributions followed by conclusions, and suggestions for future work.