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Proceedings Paper

Self-sensing composites for smart damage detection using electrical properties
Author(s): Martin Kemp
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Paper Abstract

The concept is developed of a 'self-sensing' composite to enable 'Smart' damage detection. This approach involves monitoring the damage induced change in a global physical property of a composite rather than the use of local sensors. The composite as a whole therefore effectively becomes the 'sensor'. Envisaged benefits of such an approach are reduced parasitic weight and increased reliability. The concept has been examined in terms of monitoring the changes in electrical resistivity of a carbon fiber/epoxy composite due to impact damage. Preliminary results have shown that damage from a 6 Joule impact can be detected and located in a 2 mm thick laminate by an array of voltage sensing, point contacts. Changes in potential distribution have been interpolated as a potential difference surface to give a visual representation of the damage site. The inherent simplicity of the system promises a reliable technique for structural health monitoring.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 1994
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 2361, Second European Conference on Smart Structures and Materials, (13 September 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.184809
Show Author Affiliations
Martin Kemp, Defence Research Agency (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2361:
Second European Conference on Smart Structures and Materials
Alaster McDonach; Peter T. Gardiner; Ron S. McEwen; Brian Culshaw, Editor(s)

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