PVDF multielement lamb wave sensor for structural health monitoring

Baiyang Ren, Cliff J. Lissenden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The characteristics of Lamb waves, which are multimodal and dispersive, provide both challenges and opportunities for structural health monitoring (SHM). Methods for nondestructive testing with Lamb waves are well established. For example, mode content can be determined by moving a sensor to different positions and then transforming the spatial-temporal data into the wavenumber-frequency domain. This mode content information is very useful because at every frequency each mode has a unique wavestructure, which is largely responsible for its sensitivity to material damage. Furthermore, mode conversion occurs when the waves interact with damage, making mode content an excellent damage detection feature. However, in SHM, the transducers are typically at fixed locations and are immovable. Here, an affixed polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) multielement sensor is shown to provide these same capabilities. The PVDF sensor is bonded directly to the waveguide surface, conforms to curved surfaces, has low mass, low profile, low cost, and minimal influence on passing Lamb waves. While the mode receivability is dictated by the sensor being located on the surface of the waveguide, both symmetric and antisymmetric modes can be detected and group velocities measured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7313007
Pages (from-to)178-185
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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