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Proceedings Paper

Microstructural effects of embedding optical fibers in polymer-matrix composites
Author(s): Daniel P. Henkel
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Paper Abstract

An aerospace structural material with an intrinsic sensor system for monitoring characteristics such as temperature or strain has been the goal of many of today's research efforts. However, the anticipated anisotropy and interfacial conditions introduced by embedding sensors has traditionally resulted in conservative acceptance of smart materials. The present study has addressed the question of whether the addition of an embedded silica optical fiber compromises the mechanical properties of a polymer matrix composite. Three novel surface and subsurface imaging methods that may answer this question are presented which include scanning electron acoustic microscopy, scanning acoustic microscopy and strain stage electron microscopy. They have been found to have a realistic potential for applications such as imaging microstructural residual stress fields, mapping changes in elastic moduli across the fiber-matrix interface and micron-level observation of defect formation in real-time. The theory of each technique is discussed and preliminary results are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1994
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2189, Smart Structures and Materials 1994: Smart Materials, (1 May 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.174073
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel P. Henkel, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2189:
Smart Structures and Materials 1994: Smart Materials
Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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