This study demonstrates the capability of inductively coupled piezoelectric sensors to monitor the state of health throughout the lifetime of composite structures. A single sensor which generated guided elastic waves was embedded into the stacking sequence of a large glass fiber reinforced plastic plate. The progress of cure was monitored by measuring variations in the amplitude and velocity of the waveforms reflected from the plate’s edges. Baseline subtraction techniques were then implemented to detect barely visible impact damage (BVID) created by a 10 Joule impact, at a distance of 350 mm from the sensor embedded in the cured plate. To investigate the influence of mechanical loading on sensor performance, a single sensor was embedded within a glass fiber panel and subjected to tensile load. The panel was loaded up to a maximum strain of 1%, in increments of 0.1% strain. Guided wave measurements were recorded by the embedded sensor before testing, when the panel was under load, and after testing. The ultrasonic measurements showed a strong dependence on the applied load. Upon removal of the mechanical load the guided wave measurements returned to their original values recorded before testing. The results in this work show that embedded piezoelectric sensors can be used to monitor the state of health throughout the life-cycle of composite parts, even when subjected to relatively large strains. However the influence of load on guided wave measurements has implications for online monitoring using embedded piezoelectric transducers.
James Chilles, Anthony Croxford, and Ian Bond, "Health monitoring of composite structures throughout the life cycle," Proc. SPIE 9804, Nondestructive Characterization and Monitoring of Advanced Materials, Aerospace, and Civil Infrastructure 2016, 98040W (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 23, 2016; Published: 22 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2218836.
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