12 July 1999 Squeezing light out of crystals: triboluminescent sensors
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Abstract
Currently, there are no simple sensing techniques for determining in real-time both the severity and location of structural damage in a composite caused by a dynamic impact event. Materials are known which emit light when they are fractured. This fracture-induced light emissions is known as triboluminescence. A triboluminescent material embedded in, or attached on, a composite structure could act as a real- time damage sensor. The occurrence and severity of the damage is given by the intensity of the resulting triboluminescent light. Since the triboluminescent light emission is fracture-initiated, no signal would be generated by a triboluminescent sensor until damage had actually occurred. Hence no false alarms are generated by this type of sensor. An array of triboluminescent sensors may allow real-time damage location monitoring simply by determining the wavelength of the emitted light. We have developed a series of highly efficient triboluminescent materials with sufficient thermal and chemical properties to allow doping into composites. We report a series of proof-of-principle experiments with these materials which strongly support the potential of triboluminescent sensors to monitor in real- time both the magnitude and location of structural damage.
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Ian Sage, Rodney Alan Badcock, Lisa Humberstone, Norman Geddes, Martin Kemp, Sharon Bishop, Grant Bourhill, "Squeezing light out of crystals: triboluminescent sensors", Proc. SPIE 3675, Smart Structures and Materials 1999: Smart Materials Technologies, (12 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.352790; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.352790
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