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A novel-joint damage detection algorithm based on Lamb waves and electro-mechanical impedance methods is developed.A mobile transducer set contains PZT patches is designed.A baseline-free damage characterizing algorithm is presented.Lamb waves and electro-mechanical impedance (EMI) based methods are increasingly used in damage detection owing to their high sensitivity to small structural defects. Lamb wave based methods are effective in detecting damages in a large area and electro-impedance based methods are suitable for characterizing the identified damage. Based on these two methods, a novel combined damage detection method is presented in this research. To achieve this, first, a mobile transducer set is developed, which can be used for both the Lamb waves and EMI based methods. Then, a baseline-free damage detection strategy that combines the Lamb waves and EMI methods is presented. Finally, a laboratory-sized test piece is used to validate the effectiveness of the proposed approach. The results achieved with the application of the presented combined method for characterizing an L-shape crack in an aluminum plate show better location accuracy and detection efficiency than those obtained by applying only one method.