Historical metallic tie-rods have a very important structural role in buildings characterized by arches and vaults because they balance the horizontal thrusts, avoiding the overturning of vertical supports. Nowadays, no information can be found in the literature about the non-destructive detection of possible defects in historical tie-rods and their effects on the in-service structural integrity. On the other hand, many Non-Destructive Techniques are commonly used to inspect modern metallic components and structures, but their viability for cultural heritage is still to be assessed. In this paper, the application of eddy current testing to the historical metallic tie-rods of the Milan cathedral (Italy) is evaluated, discussed and adapted. The considered historical structures are characterized by a very heterogeneous material, irregular surface geometry and high inherent defectiveness. Recently, in-service failures showed the most detrimental flaws in tie-rods consist of handmade straight scarf forged welds. A first experimental eddy current testing approach, based on off-the-shelf high and low frequency probes, was performed. Results were partially unsatisfactory and showed the challenge is not the maximization of sensitivity and spatial resolution, as in typical modern applications, but their suitable minimization. Consequently, a customized eddy current testing technique, based on a novel low frequency probe, was designed and optimized. Its performance was evaluated by numerical simulations as well as by experimental testing. Based on the satisfactory achievements, the customized eddy current testing technique was applied on site on seven tie-rods. The most significant discontinuities could be effectively detected.

A feasibility analysis on the application of eddy current testing to the detection of the most detrimental defects in historical metallic tie-rods

Bellanova, Mariagrazia;Carboni, Michele;Felicetti, Roberto
2019

Abstract

Historical metallic tie-rods have a very important structural role in buildings characterized by arches and vaults because they balance the horizontal thrusts, avoiding the overturning of vertical supports. Nowadays, no information can be found in the literature about the non-destructive detection of possible defects in historical tie-rods and their effects on the in-service structural integrity. On the other hand, many Non-Destructive Techniques are commonly used to inspect modern metallic components and structures, but their viability for cultural heritage is still to be assessed. In this paper, the application of eddy current testing to the historical metallic tie-rods of the Milan cathedral (Italy) is evaluated, discussed and adapted. The considered historical structures are characterized by a very heterogeneous material, irregular surface geometry and high inherent defectiveness. Recently, in-service failures showed the most detrimental flaws in tie-rods consist of handmade straight scarf forged welds. A first experimental eddy current testing approach, based on off-the-shelf high and low frequency probes, was performed. Results were partially unsatisfactory and showed the challenge is not the maximization of sensitivity and spatial resolution, as in typical modern applications, but their suitable minimization. Consequently, a customized eddy current testing technique, based on a novel low frequency probe, was designed and optimized. Its performance was evaluated by numerical simulations as well as by experimental testing. Based on the satisfactory achievements, the customized eddy current testing technique was applied on site on seven tie-rods. The most significant discontinuities could be effectively detected.
Eddy current testing; Historical metallic tie-rod; Structural defects; Wrought iron; Materials Science (all); Condensed Matter Physics; Mechanical Engineering
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1084856
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