Towards a systematic diagnosis of structural damage

I.A.E. de Vent, R.P.J. van Hees & G.J. Hobbelman Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT: Traditionally, the diagnosis of damage is largely based on the intuition and experience of the surveyor. Despite its benefits, this approach to diagnosing can be subjective, and difficult to communicate. This paper discusses the limitations of the current intuitive approach, illustrated with the results of a questionnaire, and suggests a method to increase its quality and efficiency. This method proposes a systematic description of the development of structural damage, based on a uniform vocabulary, and a syntax that distinguishes between damage patterns, the processes leading to damage, and the factors that influence course and extent of these processes. By using this approach, it is possible to share the knowledge that is currently embedded in intuition and experience, and enhance the retrievability of a diagnosis. The benefits are clear: the opportunity to learn from cases, and make this knowledge available to the profession.

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