Smart systems have recently been used for active control of vibration in structural engineering applications. One class of components often used in these systems includes piezoelectric materials, whose two electromechanical direct and converse effects allow them to play both roles of sensors and actuators. This paper presents the analytical and experimental investigations conducted using piezoelectric materials with polymer concrete as elements of intelligent structures. A piezoelectric film (PVDF) was tested as an embedded stress-strain detector in a polymer concrete beam that was dynamically loaded in axial compression and in flexural configurations. The reliability of the stresses detected via PVDF film was compared with the theoretically predicted values. The results from the comparison are promising, even if some improvements must be adopted in order to apply this technique extensively. Two single-sheet PZT actuators were surface-mounted on a simply supported thin polymer concrete beam. When the beam was transversely excited, oscillations were measured, and they approximately matched predictions by a single-mode Rayleigh-Ritz model under the assumption of Bernoulli-Euler strain distribution.

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