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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 813281, 14 pages
Research Article

Structural Health Monitoring of Steel Pipes under Different Boundary Conditions and Choice of Signal Processing Techniques

1Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
2Department of Civil Engineering & Engineering Mechanics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA

Received 20 September 2011; Accepted 24 January 2012

Academic Editor: Piervincenzo Rizzo

Copyright © 2012 Rais Ahmad and Tribikram Kundu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Guided wave technique is an efficient method for monitoring structural integrity by detecting and forecasting possible damages in distributed pipe networks. Efficient detection depends on appropriate selection of guided wave modes as well as signal processing techniques. Fourier analysis and wavelet analysis are two popular signal processing techniques that provide a flexible set of tools for solving various fundamental problems in science and engineering. In this paper, effective ways of using Fourier and Wavelet analyses on guided wave signals for detecting defects in steel pipes are discussed for different boundary conditions. This research investigates the effectiveness of Fourier transforms and Wavelet analysis in detecting defects in steel pipes. Cylindrical Guided waves are generated by piezo-electric transducers and propagated through the pipe wall boundaries in a pitch-catch system. Fourier transforms of received signals give information regarding the propagating guided wave modes which helps in detecting defects by selecting appropriate modes that are affected by the presence of defects. Continuous wavelet coefficients are found to be sensitive to defects. Several types of mother wavelet functions such as Daubechies, Symlet, and Meyer have been used for the continuous wavelet transform to investigate the most suitable wavelet function for defect detection. This research also investigates the effect of different boundary conditions on wavelet transforms for different mother wavelet functions.