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Sensing Applied Load and Damage Effects in Composites with Nondestructive Techniques

  • Magazine Article
  • 19AERP12_08
Published December 01, 2019 by SAE International in United States
  • English

Comparing and correlating piezoelectrically induced guided waves, acoustic emission, thermography, and X-ray imaging to determine the effects of applied load on a composite structure.

Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

Composite materials are desirable for aeronautical and aerospace applications for many reasons including their high strength-to-weight ratios, fatigue and corrosion resistance, design adaptability, and performance capabilities in harsh environments. Because of these qualities, composites are useful in many applications such as in armor, helmets, and helicopters, and as structural components.

However, when in-service, composite materials experience very different damage mechanics than metals. Performance and quality of composite materials can suffer from fatigue, environmental conditions, and external damage just as metals can, but due to their inherent complexity and the difficulty of detecting damage in composites with traditional inspection techniques, maintaining and guaranteeing the safety of composite structures is a challenging problem.