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Proceedings Paper

Impedance-based structural health monitoring for composite laminates in cryogenic environments
Author(s): Kevin K. Tseng; Michael L. Tinker; John O. Lassiter; Justin T. Eckel
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Paper Abstract

An important way of increasing the payload in a reusable launch vehicle (RLV) is to replace heavy metallic materials by lightweight composite laminates. Compared to metallic materials, composite laminates are a relatively new class of materials and therefore require more attention to ensure the safety and reliability when they are used. Among various parts and systems of the RLV, this study focuses on tanks containing cryogenic fuel. Historically, aluminum alloys have been used as the materials to construct fuel tanks for launch vehicles. To replace aluminum alloys with composite laminates or honeycomb materials, engineers have to make sure that the composites are free of defects before, during, and after launch. In addition, the performance of the composite structures needs to be evaluated constantly. In recent years, the impedance-based health monitoring technique has shown its promise in many applications. A major advantage of this technique is that the procedure is nondestructive in nature and does not perturb the properties and performance of the materials and structures. This paper reports the results of applying the impedance-based nondestructive testing technique to the damage identification of composite laminates at cryogenic temperature. These materials have potential application for fuel tanks in future RLV’s. Regular and single-crystal piezoceramic sensor/actuators are tested to assess their performance under cryogenic temperature.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5046, Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring of Aerospace Materials and Composites II, (1 August 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.484109
Show Author Affiliations
Kevin K. Tseng, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Michael L. Tinker, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
John O. Lassiter, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Justin T. Eckel, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5046:
Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring of Aerospace Materials and Composites II
Andrew L. Gyekenyesi; Peter J. Shull, Editor(s)

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