A case study of damage detection in four-bays steel structures using the HHT approach

Wen Ko Hsu, Dung Jiang Chiou, Cheng Wu Chen, Ming Yi Liu, Wei Ling Chiang, Pei Chiung Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study aims to investigate the relationship between structural damage and sensitivity indices using the Hilbert-Huang transform (HHT) method. Two damage detection indices are proposed: The ratio of bandwidth (RB), and the ratio of effective stiffness (RES). The nonlinear four bays multiple degree of freedom models with various predominant frequencies are constructed using the SAP2000 program. Adjusted PGA earthquake data (Japan 311, Chi-Chi 921) are used as the excitations. Next, the damage detection indices obtained using the HHT and the fast Fourier transform (FFT) methods are evaluated based on the acceleration responses of the structures to earthquakes. Simulation results indicate that, the column of the 1st floor is the first yielding position and the RB value is changed when the RES 90% in all cases. Moreover, the RB value of the 1st floor changes more sensitive than those from the top floor. In addition, when the structural response is nonlinear (i.e., RES<100%), the RB and the RES curves indicate the incremental change in the HHT spectra. However, the same phenomenon can be found from FFT spectra only when the stiffness reduction is large enough. Therefore, the RB estimated from the smoothed HHT spectra is an effective and sensitive index for detecting structural damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-615
Number of pages21
JournalSmart Structures and Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • Damage detection index
  • Effective stiffness
  • HHT
  • Sensitivity


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