The Behaviour of As-Built Structures: Vibration Analysis

The mining industry (and greater civil engineering filed) pose a number of complex vibration problems where the verification of the integrity of large structures has been too complex to measure, analyse and interpret by Engineers worldwide. This complex problem has been solved by a handful of engineering software developers and ET has trained at one of the world leaders in the field, Structural Vibration Solutions (SVS) in Denmark.

The method for analysing large structures in their as-built and operational state entails the modeling of the structure in ARTeMIS, the proprietary software from SVS, and placing a system of linked accelerometers at key measurement locations, which would accurately measure the desired structural responses - thereby measuring global responses, rather than isolated points. ET has worked with the leading vibration measurement company, ESTEQ, who has assisted us in creating a mobile 3D wireless accelerometer setup, allowing us to take measurements rapidly, on any type of structure, whilst in operation.

This novel technology not only solves a possibly complex vibration problem rapidly, but the wireless solution offers quick setups at a number of locations while the software provides cutting edge solutions to the problems our industry faces.

ET is currently involves in two such projects where as-built structures are being measured. Here the results are compared to the traditional, accurate, Finite Element Analysis of the dynamic response of the structures in order to verify that the structure is behaving within specification. The next frontier for ET, already offered by SVS, is Structural Health Monitoring, where the accelerometer setup is left on a structure permanently, so that the repeat analyses are compared by the software - allowing for real-time structural damage detection and early warning systems.

About The Author

Willie Swanepoel - Pr.Eng, B.Eng (Civil), M.Sc.Eng (Structural) - Stellenbosch

Senior Structural Engineer at Et-Global

Willie is a Stellenbosch University graduate with a passion for the fields of Forensic Structural Engineering and Asset Integrity Management of physical plant assets. He developed his keen interest in these fields through a number of international training events and assisting a number of clients who have experienced large structural failures and require large-scale refurbishment work. Willie forms part of the Et-Global team as a senior, professionally registered engineer.

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