This study aims to devise multifunctional composites using fracto-mechanoluminescent (FML) materials and photoactive sensing thin films for autonomous and self-powered impact damage detection. In previous studies, multifunctional photoactive thin films were suggested as a strain sensor that does not require any external electrical source. Instead, the photoactive thin films generated direct current (DC) (or photocurrent) under ambient light, whose magnitude varied linearly with applied strain. In this study, multifunctional FML materials-photoactive thin film composites will be devised for autonomously sensing high-speed compressive strains without supplying any external photonic or electrical energy. FML materials exhibit transformative properties that emit light when its crystalline structures are fractured. The developed photoactive strain sensing thin film will be integrated with the FML materials. Thus, it is envisioned that the FML materials will emit light, which will be supplied to the photoactive sensing thin films when the high-speed compressive loadings break FML materials’ crystalline structures. First, synthesized europium tetrakit(dibenzoylmethide) triethylammonium (EuD4TEA) crystals will be embedded in the elastomeric and transparent polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) matrix to prepare test specimens. Second, the FML properties of the EuD4TEA-PDMS composites will be characterized at various compressive strains, which will be applied by Kolsky bar testing setup. Light emission from the EuD4TEA-PDMS test specimens will be recorded using a high-speed camera. Intensity of the light emissions will be quantified via image processing techniques by taking into account pixel profiles of the high-speed camera captured images (e.g., pixel values, counts of pixels, and RGB values) at various levels of compressive strains. Lastly, the autonomous high-speed compressive sensor modules will be fabricated by integrating the EuD4TEA-PDMS composites with the photoactive thin film sensor. Self-powered sensing capability will be validated by measuring DC at various compressive strains.
Donghyeon Ryu, Nicolas Castaño, Raj Bhakta, Michael Romero, and Jamie Kimberley, "Characterization of light emission from mechanoluminescent composites subjected to high-rate compressive loading
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9803, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2016, 98030P (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 21, 2016; Published: 22 June 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2219530.4912052993001.
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