WIT Press

Health Monitoring Of Cultural Heritage Using Ambient And Forced Vibrations


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WIT Press


A. Pau, A. De Sortis, R. Marzellotta & F. Vestroni


In this paper, the main results of a campaign of experimental dynamic tests involving three important monuments of Rome, the Colosseum, the Traian Column and the Aurelian Walls are presented. The structural dynamic response due to ambient excitation and to impact force tests was investigated. The damage risk due to the vibrations induced by road and railway traffic was assessed according to international standards. Natural frequencies and mode shapes were determined and compared to numerical ones, which were obtained by a finite element model. Measuring the evolution of these quantities, which are representative of the structural conditions, allows for health monitoring of monuments. Keywords: dynamic characterization, ambient vibration, health monitoring. 1 Introduction Health monitoring of cultural heritage is a topic of outstanding importance in the world over, especially in Italy, where ancient monuments are exposed both to the seismic hazard and to vibrations due to human activities, such as traffic-induced soil vibrations. The excitation due to the passage of vehicles on roads, railways or subways, propagates from the source to the buildings, provoking people annoyance and functionality problems to sensitive equipments or structural damage, particularly in historical buildings. Here, old materials and low level of structural integrity make vibrations to produce an increase in damage. In this paper, the main characteristics of these phenomena are outlined, emphasizing the key parameters, the awareness of which can be helpful to identify possible remedial measures; these actions may concern the source of vibrations, the


dynamic characterization, ambient vibration, health monitoring.