Journal of sound and vibration vol:278 issue:3 pages:589-610
The development of a methodology for accurate and reliable condition assessment of civil structures has become very important. The finite element (FE) model updating method provides an efficient, nondestructive, global damage identification technique, which is based on the fact that the modal parameters (eigenfrequencies and mode shapes) of the structure are affected by structural damage. In the FE model the damage is represented by a reduction of the stiffness properties of the elements and can be identified by tuning the FE model to the measured modal parameters. This paper describes an iterative sensitivity based FE model updating method in which the discrepancies in both the eigenfrequencies and unscaled mode shape data obtained from ambient tests are minimized. Furthermore, the paper proposes the use of damage functions to approximate the stiffness distribution, as an efficient approach to reduce the number of unknowns. Additionally the optimization process is made more robust by using the trust region strategy in the implementation of the Gauss-Newton method, which is another original contribution of this work. The combination of the damage function approach with the trust region strategy is a practical alternative to the pure mathematical regularization techniques such as Tikhonov approach. Afterwards the updating procedure is validated with a real application to a prestressed concrete bridge. The damage in the highway bridge is identified by updating the Young's and the shear modulus, whose distribution over the FE model are approximated by piecewise linear functions. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.