, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 1465–1478 | Cite as

Damage assessment of tensegrity structures using piezo transducers

  • S. Bhalla
  • R. Panigrahi
  • A. Gupta


This paper presents the application of surface-bonded piezo-transducers for damage assessment of tensegrity structures through dynamic strain measurement and electro-mechanical impedance (EMI) technique. The two techniques are first applied on a single module tensegrity structure, 1 m×1 m in size and their damage diagnosis results compared. A single piezoelectric-ceramic (PZT) patch bonded on a strut measures the dynamic strain during an impact excitation of the structure. Damage is identified from the changes in global frequencies of the structure obtained from the PZT patch’s response. This is compared with the damage identified using the EMI technique, which is a signature based technique and operates at frequencies of the order of kHz. The dynamic strain approach, which requires commonly available hardware, is found to exhibit satisfactory performance vis-à-vis the EMI technique for damage assessment of tensegrity structures. The damage diagnosis exercise is then extended to a tensegrity grid structure, 2 m×2 m size, fabricated using galvanized iron (GI) pipes and mild steel wire ropes. The damage is localized using changes in natural frequencies observed experimentally using the dynamic strain approach and the corresponding mode shapes of the undamaged structure derived numerically. The dynamic strain approach is found to be very expedient, displays competitive performance and is at the same time cost effective for damage assessment of tensegrity structures.


Tensegrity Damage Piezoelectric-ceramic (PZT) Electro-mechanical impedance (EMI) technique 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance provided by B. Tech. student Mr. Vivek Kumar and the M. Tech. student Mr. K. Vijay Kumar during fabrication and testing of some of the structures covered in the paper. Thanks are also due to the reviewers of the paper who provided invaluable suggestions on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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