10 April 2007 Quantification of impact damage in CMC thermal protection systems using thin-film piezoelectric sensors
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Thermal protection systems (TPS) are frequently subjected to impacts from micrometeoroids and ground handling during refurbishment. The damage resulting from such impacts can greatly reduce the vehicle's overall ability to resist extreme temperatures. Therefore, it is essential to have a reliable method to detect and quantify the damage resulting from impacts. In this effort, the effectiveness of lightweight thin film piezoelectric sensors was evaluated for impact detection and quantification in CMC wrapped TPS. The sensors, which were adhered to the bottom of the TPS tile, were used to sense impact events occurring on the top of the tile, with the ultimate goal of quantifying the level of impact level and damage state based on the sensed signals. A reasonable correlation between impact load levels and sensed response were observed for load levels between 0.07-1.00 Joules. An increase in signal frequency content was also observed as impact levels were increased, with specific frequency bands occurring in the 2-16 kHz range. A preliminary nondestructive evaluation of the impact damage sites was also accomplished, where a reasonable correlation between the gross damage features (i.e. impact crater dimensions) and signal response was observed.
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Samuel J. Kuhr, Samuel J. Kuhr, James L. Blackshire, James L. Blackshire, } "Quantification of impact damage in CMC thermal protection systems using thin-film piezoelectric sensors", Proc. SPIE 6530, Sensor Systems and Networks: Phenomena, Technology, and Applications for NDE and Health Monitoring 2007, 65300Q (10 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.715297; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.715297

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