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Proceedings Paper

Demonstration of an instrumented patch
Author(s): M. Martinez; G. Renaud; D. Backman; M. Genest; M. Delannoy
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Paper Abstract

The primary objective of this study was to demonstrate the effectiveness of various strain measurement techniques at detecting the disbonding of a composite repair patch and then using this information to validate a new capacitance based disbond detection technique. The instrumented repair patch was parametrically designed with the help of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software to have a stress concentration at its tip. This stress concentration was designed to produce a disbond during fatigue testing, without the need for the introduction of any foreign material to create an artificial disbond condition. The aluminum substrate was grit blasted and the instrumented patch was bonded using FM®73 adhesive, and was cured following the recommendations of the manufacturer. The geometric characteristics of the patch followed standard repair guidelines for such variables as material selection, taper angles and loading conditions, with the exception of the area designed for premature disbond. All test specimens were inspected using non-destructive testing technique (ultrasound pulse echo) to guarantee that no disbonding had occurred during curing of the specimen. The specimens were placed under fatigue loading to induce a disbond condition between the aluminum substrate and the patch. The specimens were cyclically loaded and strain gauges bonded to strategic locations on the aluminum and composite patch surface to be able to measure changes in surface strains as the disbond progressed. A Digital Image Correlation (DIC) system was also used to measure full field strains over the gauge length of the coupon. The DIC results were compared with the strain gauge data and were used to provide a qualitative measure of the load transfer in the bonded specimen, which clearly demonstrated the change in surface strain that occurred as the composite patch disbonded from the aluminum substrate. Thermoelastic Stress Analysis (TSA) was also used to measure surface strains on the composite patch. Thermoelastic stress analysis proved to be the most sensitive technique for experimentally monitoring the disbond process in real time. Failure analysis of the specimens using optical microscope techniques was performed to determine the type of failure between the patch and the substrate. The results of this work will serve to test the different types of sensors available for the design and manufacturing of a "Smart Patch" for aircraft structure applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 April 2007
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6530, Sensor Systems and Networks: Phenomena, Technology, and Applications for NDE and Health Monitoring 2007, 65300M (10 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.713930
Show Author Affiliations
M. Martinez, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
G. Renaud, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
D. Backman, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
M. Genest, National Research Council Canada (Canada)
M. Delannoy, National Research Council Canada (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6530:
Sensor Systems and Networks: Phenomena, Technology, and Applications for NDE and Health Monitoring 2007
Kara J. Peters, Editor(s)

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