Aging and damage assessment of composite structures using embedded piezoelectric sensors

Monnier, T.; Jayet, Y.; Guy, P.; Baboux, J. C.
May 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 509 Issue 1, p1269
Academic Journal
Ultrasonic waves are commonly used for the characterization and the nondestructive testing of structural materials. The need of a coupling fluid weakens the reproducibility of traditional contact techniques and thus limits the monitoring of in-service structures. Our approach consists in integrating into the structure a piezoelectric element, which is designed for both monitoring the homogeneous mechanical properties and detecting localized defects. At first, from the electrical impedance of the embedded piezoelectric disc and using an appropriate modelling, it will be shown that it is possible to determine the viscoelastic properties of the medium surrounding the sensor. Such a method has proved its efficiency for the in-situ and real time monitoring of the life cycle of polymeric matrix composites, from the various polymerization stages to hydrolytic aging mechanisms. In addition the same piezoelectric sensor generates Lamb waves, which can explore large samples because of their weak attenuation. This notably accelerates the integrity control in composite plate-like structures. In this paper, guided waves propagation will be theoretically studied and illustrated through numerical calculations. Then, experimental results will demonstrate the ability of Lamb waves to detect real damages in carbon fibers reinforced composite plates. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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