The paper presents the concept of self-diagnosing smart bolts and its experimental validation. In the present research such bolts are designed, built, and experimentally tested. As a key element of the design, wires of Galfenol (alloy of iron and gallium) are used. This material shows magnetostrictive properties, and, at the same time, is sufficiently ductile to follow typical deformation of rock bolts, and is economically affordable. Two types of Galfenol were used: Ga10Fe90 and Ga17Fe83. The wires have been installed in bolts using two designs — in a drilled central hole or in a cut along the side — and the bolts were tested for generation of the magnetic field under three-point bending loading. To measure the magnetic field in the process of deformation, a magnetometer that utilizes the GMR effect was designed, built, and compared with one utilizing the Hall effect. It is shown that (1) magnetic field generated by deformation of the smart bolts at the stress level of plastic deformation is sufficient to be noticed by the proposed magnetometer; however, the magnetometer using Hall effect is insufficient; (2) Ga10Fe90 produces higher magnetic fields than Ga17Fe83; (3) the magnetic field in plastically bended bolts is relatively stable with time.

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