Bondline integrity is still one of the most critical concerns in the design of aircraft structures up to date. Due to the lack of confidence on the integrity of the bondline both during fabrication and service, the industry standards and regulations still require assembling the composite using conventional fasteners. Furthermore, current state-of-the-art non-destructive evaluation (NDE) and structural health monitoring (SHM) techniques are incapable of offering mature solutions on the issue of bondline integrity monitoring. Therefore, the objective of this work is the development of an intelligent adhesive film with integrated micro-sensors for monitoring the integrity of the bondline interface. The proposed method makes use of an electromechanical-impedance (EMI) based method, which is a rapidly evolving approach within the SHM family. Furthermore, an innovative screen-printing technique to fabricate piezoelectric ceramic sensors with minimal thickness has been developed at Stanford. The approach presented in this study is based on the use of (i) micro screen-printed piezoelectric sensors integrated into adhesive leaving a minimal footprint on the material, (ii) numerical and analytical modeling of the EMI spectrum of the adhesive bondline, (iii) novel diagnostic algorithms for monitoring the bondline integrity based on advanced signal processing techniques, and (iv) the experimental assessment via prototype adhesively bonded structures in static (varying loads) and dynamic (fatigue) environments. The proposed method will provide a huge confidence on the use of bonded joints for aerospace structures and lead to a paradigm change in their design by enabling enormous weight savings while maximizing the economic and performance efficiency.
Yitao Zhuang, Yu-hung Li, Fotis Kopsaftopoulos, and Fu-Kuo Chang, "A self-diagnostic adhesive for monitoring bonded joints in aerospace structures," Proc. SPIE 9803, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2016, 98030I (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 21, 2016; Published: 20 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2219361.
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