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15 April 2011 Monitoring strain and damage in multi-phase composite materials using electrical resistance methods
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The variation of the electrical properties of fiber reinforced polymers when subjected to load offer the ability of strain and damage monitoring. This is performed via electrical resistance and electrical potential measurements. On the other hand Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) have proved to be an efficient additive to polymers and matrices of composites with respect to structural enhancement and improvement of the electrical properties. The induction of CNTs increases the conductivity of the matrix, transforming it to an antistatic or a conducting phase. The key issue of the structural and electrical properties optimization is the dispersion quality of the nano-scale in the polymer phase. Well dispersed CNTs provide an electrical network within the insulating matrix. If the fibers are conductive, the CNT network mediates the electrical anisotropy and reduces the critical flaw size that is detectable by the change in conductivity. Thus, the network performs as an inherent sensor in the composite structure, since every invisible crack or delamination is manifested as an increase in the electrical resistance. The scope of this work is to further exploit the information provided by the electrical properties with a view to identify strain variation and global damage via bulk resistance measurements. The aforementioned techniques were employed to monitor, strain and damage in fiber reinforced composite laminates both with and without conductive nanofillers.
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S. A. Grammatikos, G. Gkikas, and A. Paipetis "Monitoring strain and damage in multi-phase composite materials using electrical resistance methods", Proc. SPIE 7982, Smart Sensor Phenomena, Technology, Networks, and Systems 2011, 79820K (15 April 2011);

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