Deakin University

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Real-time structural health monitoring for concrete beams: a cost-effective ‘Industry 4.0’ solution using piezo sensors

journal contribution
posted on 2021-03-11, 00:00 authored by Arka Ghosh, D J Edwards, M. Reza HosseiniM. Reza Hosseini, Riyadh Al-AmeriRiyadh Al-Ameri, Jemal AbawajyJemal Abawajy, W D Thwala
PurposeThis research paper adopts the fundamental tenets of advanced technologies in industry 4.0 to monitor the structural health of concrete beam members using cost-effective non-destructive technologies. In so doing, the work illustrates how a coalescence of low-cost digital technologies can seamlessly integrate to solve practical construction problems.Design/methodology/approachA mixed philosophies epistemological design is adopted to implement the empirical quantitative analysis of “real-time” data collected via sensor-based technologies streamed through a Raspberry Pi and uploaded onto a cloud-based system. Data was analysed using a hybrid approach that combined both vibration-characteristic-based method and linear variable differential transducers (LVDT).FindingsThe research utilises a novel digital research approach for accurately detecting and recording the localisation of structural cracks in concrete beams. This non-destructive low-cost approach was shown to perform with a high degree of accuracy and precision, as verified by the LVDT measurements. This research is testament to the fact that as technological advancements progress at an exponential rate, the cost of implementation continues to reduce to produce higher-accuracy “mass-market” solutions for industry practitioners.Originality/valueAccurate structural health monitoring of concrete structures necessitates expensive equipment, complex signal processing and skilled operator. The concrete industry is in dire need of a simple but reliable technique that can reduce the testing time, cost and complexity of maintenance of structures. This was the first experiment of its kind that seeks to develop an unconventional approach to solve the maintenance problem associated with concrete structures. This study merges industry 4.0 digital technologies with a novel low-cost and automated hybrid analysis for real-time structural health monitoring of concrete beams by fusing several multidisciplinary approaches into one integral technological configuration.



International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation






283 - 311







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal