Potential of Neural Networks for Structural Damage Localization
Fabrication technology and structural engineering states-of-art have led to a growing use of slender structures, making them more susceptible to static and dynamic actions that may lead to some sort of damage. In this context, regular inspections and evaluations are necessary to detect and predict structural damage and establish maintenance actions able to guarantee structural safety and durability with minimal cost. However, these procedures are traditionally quite time-consuming and costly, and techniques allowing a more effective damage detection are necessary. This paper assesses the potential of Artificial Neural Network (ANN) models in the prediction of damage localization in structural members, as function of their dynamic properties – the three first natural frequencies are used. Based on 64 numerical examples from damaged (mostly) and undamaged steel channel beams, an ANN-based analytical model is proposed as a highly accurate and efficient damage localization estimator. The proposed model yielded maximum errors of 0.2 and 0.7 % concerning 64 numerical and 3 experimental data points, respectively. Due to the high-quality of results, authors’ next step is the application of similar approaches to entire structures, based on much larger datasets.