Embedding sensors within additive manufactured (AM) structures gives the ability to develop smart structures that are capable of monitoring the mechanical health of a system. AM provides an opportunity to embed sensors within a structure during the manufacturing process. One major limitation of AM technology is the ability to verify the geometric and material properties of fabricated structures. Over the past several years, the electromechanical impedance (EMI) method for structural health monitoring (SHM) has been proven to be an effective method for sensing damage in structurers. The EMI method utilizes the coupling between the electrical and mechanical properties of a piezoelectric transducer to detect a change in the dynamic response of a structure. A piezoelectric device, usually a lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramic wafer, is bonded to a structure and the electrical impedance is measured across as range of frequencies. A change in the electrical impedance is directly correlated to changes made to the mechanical condition of the structure. In this work, the EMI method is employed on piezoelectric transducers embedded inside AM parts to evaluate the feasibility of performing SHM on parts fabricated using additive manufacturing. The fused deposition modeling (FDM) method is used to print specimens for this feasibility study. The specimens are printed from polylactic acid (PLA) in the shape of a beam with an embedded monolithic piezoelectric ceramic disc. The specimen is mounted as a cantilever while impedance measurements are taken using an HP 4194A impedance analyzer. Both destructive and nondestructive damage is simulated in the specimens by adding an end mass and drilling a hole near the free end of the cantilever, respectively. The Root Mean Square Deviation (RMSD) method is utilized as a metric for quantifying damage to the system. In an effort to determine a threshold for RMSD, the values are calculated for the variation associated with taking multiple measurements and with re-clamping the cantilever, and determined to be 0.154, and 3.125 respectively. The RMSD value of the cantilever with a 400 g end mass is 11.39, and the RMSD value of the cantilever with a 4 mm hole near the end is 12.15. From these results, it can be determined that the damaged cases have much higher RMSD values than the RMSD values associated with measurements and set up variability of the healthy structure.
Austin G. Scheyer and Steven R. Anton, "Impedance-based structural health monitoring of additive manufactured structures with embedded piezoelectric wafers," Proc. SPIE 10168, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2017, 1016827 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 29, 2017; Published: 12 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2260400.
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