Neutral axis as damage sensitive feature

D. H. Sigurdardottir, B. Glisic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Structural health monitoring (SHM) is the process of continuously or periodically measuring structural parameters and the transformation of the collected data into information on real structural conditions. The centroid of stiffness is a universal parameter and its position in a cross-section can be evaluated for any load-carrying beam structure as the position of the neutral axis under conveniently chosen loads. Thus, a change in the position of the neutral axis within a cross-section can indicate a change in the position of the centroid of stiffness, i.e., unusual structural behaviors. This paper proposes a novel monitoring method based on deterministic and probabilistic determination of the position of the neutral axis under conveniently chosen conditions. Therefore, the method proposed in this paper is potentially applicable to a large variety of beam-like structures. Data from two existing structures were used to validate the method and assess its performance: Streicker Bridge at Princeton University and the US202/NJ23 highway overpass in Wayne, NJ. The results show that the neutral axis location is varying even when damage is not present. Reasons for this variation are determined and the accuracy in the evaluation assessed. This paper concludes that the position of the neutral axis can be evaluated with sufficient accuracy using static and dynamic strain measurements performed on appropriate time-scales and indicates its potential to be used as a damage sensitive feature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075030
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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