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A practical investigation to solving the inverse problem of crack identification through vibration measurements

Henning Ressing (AUDI AG, Ingolstadt, Germany)
Mohamed S. Gadala (Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 1 January 2006



To investigate the feasibility of using single/multi variable optimisation techniques with vibration measurements in solving the inverse crack identification problem.


The finite element method is used to solve the forward crack problem with a special nodal crack force approach. The multi‐variable optimisation approach is reduced to a much more efficient single‐variable one by decoupling the physical variables in the problem.


It is shown that, for the crack identification problem, global optimisation algorithms perform much better than other algorithms relying heavily on objective function gradients. Simultaneous identification of crack size and location proved to be difficult. Decoupling of the physical variable is introduced and proved to provide efficient results with single‐variable optimisation algorithms.

Research limitations/implications

Need for improving the reliability and accuracy of the procedure for smaller crack sizes. Need for developing and investigation more rigorous and robust multi‐variable optimisation algorithm.

Practical implications

Any information about approximate crack size and location provides significant aid in the maintenance and online monitoring of rotating equipment.


The paper offers practical approach and procedure for online monitoring and crack identification of slow rotating equipment.



Ressing, H. and Gadala, M.S. (2006), "A practical investigation to solving the inverse problem of crack identification through vibration measurements", Engineering Computations, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 32-56.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited