11 April 2017 Impact resistant smart hybrid laminates
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Abstract
The large diffusion of structural parts made of carbon fibres reinforced polymers (CFRP) in the aerospace and automotive sectors has highlighted the importance of developing hybrid multifunctional materials characterised by improved mechanical properties and coupled with non-structural features. Indeed, while due to their high specific strength and light weight, composite systems are characterised by very high mechanical properties in the in-plane direction, their intrinsic layered structure makes them very susceptible to low-velocity impacts resulting in Barely Visible Impact Damage (BVID) that can lead to the critical failure of primarily structures. Based on these premises, the development of a multifunctional hybrid system can overcome this drawback by tackling this issue from two different points of view, enhancing the total reliability of light-weight composite parts in order to improve fuel efficiency and optimise the footprint of new generation aero-structures. Indeed, by including an additional metallic phase within the structure of a traditional laminate it is possible to develop a smart multifunctional system in which the hybrid phase acts simultaneously as a reinforcement to enhance the out-of-plane properties of the material and as an intelligent embedded sensor system able to communicate information about the health status of the part and detect impact events or critical loads. This work is focused on the design, manufacturing and testing of a hybrid CFRP (H-CFRP) in which the hybridisation is obtained by including an array of Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) or Copper wires within the laminate. The electrical properties of the hybrid network is exploited to design a smart sensing system which can be interrogated to monitor the load distribution on the part and detect critical solicitations in critical points. The low-power system, controlled by an Arduino microcontroller, is able to monitor the integrity status of the part using each wire as a linear probe to scan complex structures at a certain frequency, measuring the local change in the electrical resistance from which it is possible to build a map of the stress distribution. The position of the metallic network along the laminate’s thickness was determined by analysing the response of different configurations of hybrid samples subjected to Low Velocity Impacts (LVI) in order to optimise the design of the H-CFRP and enhance the energy absorption. Using the same Arduinocontrolled Multiplex the smart wires array was exploited as heat source to scan the sample inner structure and monitoring the variation of the superficial apparent thermal variation with an Infra-Red (IR) Camera, a simulated delaminated area was detected.
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F. Pinto, F. Pinto, F. Rizzo, F. Rizzo, M. Meo, M. Meo, } "Impact resistant smart hybrid laminates", Proc. SPIE 10165, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2017, 101650W (11 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2259925; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2259925
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