2006 Volume 49 Issue 3 Pages 426-435
In this paper, we examine the applicability of the passive electric potential CT (computed tomography) method to the quantitative identification of three-dimensional cracks in structures. In this method, a piezoelectric film is glued on the surface of structures. The electric potential values on the piezoelectric film change due to the strain distribution on the surface of the structures, when the structures are subjected to an external load. The strain distribution induces an electric potential distribution on the piezoelectric film. Then, this method does not require electric current application, and passively observed electric potential values on piezoelectric film can be used for crack identification. The electric potential distribution on piezoelectric film was investigated numerically and experimentally. It was found that the electric potential distribution shows a characteristic change corresponding to the shape of the surface crack. An inverse method based on the least residual method was applied to crack identification from the electric potential distribution. In this inverse method, the square sum of residuals is evaluated between the measured electric potential distributions and those computed from the electric potential distribution of the piezoelectric film. Three-dimensional surface cracks were identified from the measured electric potential distribution. It was found that the location and size of the crack can be quantitatively estimated using a two-dimensional distribution of electric potential.