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On the Use of Solitary Waves for the Prediction of Structural Buckling of Simple Structures



This paper presents the results of an experimental and numerical study on the use of highly nonlinear solitary waves (HNSW) for the detection of incipient buckling of slender beams. We use a chain of particles able to support the propagation of nonlinear solitary waves in contact with a beam subjected to thermal stress. The coupling mechanism between the solitary wave pulses and the beam is investigated numerically by means of a discrete particle model and experimentally. We find that certain characteristics such as amplitude and time-of-flight of the solitary waves are related to the raise in temperature of the structure, and therefore to the applied stress on the beam. In this paper we also discuss the challenges and the feasibility of the proposed HNSW-based health monitoring system to detect neutral temperature, i.e. the temperature at which the stress in the structure is zero.

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