Autonomous Crack Comparometer

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Public concern over construction vibration-induced cracking has led to the development of a radically new approach to vibration, an autonomous crack comparometer (ACC). This thesis chronicles the first step of developing equipment and software necessary for this system. The new system will automatically compare longterm weather induced micrometer changes in crack width with those produced by habitation ground motion. This comparison will then be displayed in real time via the Internet without human interaction. Comparison of long-term changes in crack width along with weather and vibration-induced changes in crack width can change public perception of the effects of vibration. As can be seen in the detailed case study by Dowding (1996), long-term and weather-induced distortion of structures is greater than that caused by present levels of allowable construction-induced vibration. However, since humans feel vibration response and not weather response, vibration is invariably blamed for defects noticed by neighbors who are upset by construction activity. Furthermore, graphic display of the parameters over the Internet allows a visual comparison of these differing phenomena that is otherwise not possible. Visual 1 comparison avoids the abstract complexity of vibration time histories and required belief of past studies that compare vibration levels with crack initiation. Most importantly of all, the Internet provides a mechanism for direct public participation in data collection and interpretation.

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  • 08/14/2017
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