Bolt loosening analysis and diagnosis by non-contact laser excitation vibration tests

Feblil Huda, Itsuro Kajiwara, Naoki Hosoya, Shozo Kawamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, a vibration testing and health monitoring system based on an impulse response excited by laser ablation is proposed to detect bolted joint loosening. A high power Nd: YAG pulse laser is used to generate an ideal impulse on a structural surface which offers the potential to measure high frequency vibration responses on the structure. A health monitoring apparatus is developed with this vibration testing system and a damage detecting algorithm. The joint loosening can be estimated by detecting fluctuations of the high frequency response with the health monitoring system. Additionally, a finite element model of bolted joints is proposed by using three-dimensional elements with a pretension force applied and with contact between components taken into account to support the bolt loosening detection method. Frequency responses obtained from the finite element analysis and the experiments using the laser excitation are in good agreement. The bolt loosening can be detected and identified by introducing a damage index by statistical evaluations of the frequency response data using the Recognition-Taguchi method. The effectiveness of the present approach is verified by simulations and experimental results, which are able to detect and identify loose bolt positions in a six-bolt joint cantilever.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-604
Number of pages16
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov


  • Bolt loosening
  • Fault diagnosis
  • Finite element model
  • High frequency response
  • Laser excitation
  • RT method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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