Purdue University Graduate School
190418_Thesis.pdf (6.22 MB)

Identification of Stiffness Reductions Using Partial Natural Frequency Data

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posted on 2019-05-15, 12:38 authored by Sokheang TheaSokheang Thea
In vibration-based damage detection in structures, often changes in the dynamic properties such as natural frequencies, modeshapes, and derivatives of modeshapes are used to identify the damaged elements. If only a partial list of natural frequencies is known, optimization methods may need to be used to identify the damage. In this research, the algorithm proposed by Podlevskyi & Yaroshko (2013) is used to determine the stiffness distribution in shear building models. The lateral load resisting elements are presented as a single equivalent spring, and masses are lumped at floor levels. The proposed method calculates stiffness values directly, i.e., without optimization, from the known partial list of natural frequency data and mass distribution. It is shown that if the number of stories with reduced stiffness is smaller than the number of known natural frequencies, the stories with reduced stiffnesses can be identified. Numerical studies on building models with two stories and four stories are used to illustrate the solution method. Effect of error or noise in given natural frequencies on stiffness estimates and, conversely, sensitivity of natural frequencies to changes in stiffness are studied using 7-, 15-, 30-, and 50-story numerical models. From the studies, it is learnt that as the number of stories increases, the natural frequencies become less sensitive to stiffness changes. Additionally, eight laboratory experiments were conducted on a five-story aluminum structural model. Ten slender columns were used in each story of the specimen. Damage was simulated by removing columns in one, two, or three stories. The method can locate and quantify the damage in cases presented in the experimental studies. It is also applied to a 1/3 scaled 18-story steel moment frame building tested on an earthquake simulator (Suita et al., 2015) to identify the reduction in the stiffness due to fractures of beam flanges. Only the first two natural frequencies are used to determine the reductions in the stiffness since the third mode of the tower is torsional and no reasonable planar spring-mass model can be developed to present all of the translational modes. The method produced possible cases of the softening when the damage was assumed to occur at a single story.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering


  • Civil Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Ayhan Irfanoglu

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Arun Prakash

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Santiago Pujol

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