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27 March 2015 Sensing sheets based on large area electronics for fatigue crack detection
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Reliable early-stage damage detection requires continuous structural health monitoring (SHM) over large areas of structure, and with high spatial resolution of sensors. This paper presents the development stage of prototype strain sensing sheets based on Large Area Electronics (LAE), in which thin-film strain gauges and control circuits are integrated on the flexible electronics and deposited on a polyimide sheet that can cover large areas. These sensing sheets were applied for fatigue crack detection on small-scale steel plates. Two types of sensing-sheet interconnects were designed and manufactured, and dense arrays of strain gauge sensors were assembled onto the interconnects. In total, four (two for each design type) strain sensing sheets were created and tested, which were sensitive to strain at virtually every point over the whole sensing sheet area. The sensing sheets were bonded to small-scale steel plates, which had a notch on the boundary so that fatigue cracks could be generated under cyclic loading. The fatigue tests were carried out at the Carleton Laboratory of Columbia University, and the steel plates were attached through a fixture to the loading machine that applied cyclic fatigue load. Fatigue cracks then occurred and propagated across the steel plates, leading to the failure of these test samples. The strain sensor that was close to the notch successfully detected the initialization of fatigue crack and localized the damage on the plate. The strain sensor that was away from the crack successfully detected the propagation of fatigue crack based on the time history of measured strain. Overall, the results of the fatigue tests validated general principles of the strain sensing sheets for crack detection.
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Yao Yao and Branko Glisic "Sensing sheets based on large area electronics for fatigue crack detection", Proc. SPIE 9435, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2015, 94350G (27 March 2015);

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